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EPA Proposes To Add an Area of Orange and West Orange, N.J. to the Superfund List; Protecting Drinking Water EPA Priority

Release Date: 03/13/2012
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez, 212-637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed adding the Orange Valley Regional Ground Water site in Orange and West Orange, New Jersey to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. Ground water under the site, which includes heavily populated urban and suburban areas of Orange and West Orange, is contaminated with the chemicals tetrachloroethylene or PCE, trichloroethylene or TCE and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene. Exposure to PCE, TCE and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, which are common industrial solvents, can have serious effects on people’s health including liver damage and an increased risk of cancer. The ground water contamination has impacted public wells used to supply drinking water to local residents. Some of the wells have been taken out of service and water from others is treated to remove the contamination and provide the community with water that is safe to drink.

      “Ensuring that people have a safe source of drinking water is essential to protecting public health and is an EPA priority,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By placing the Orange Valley Ground Water site on the Superfund list, EPA can do the extensive sampling needed to find the best ways to address the contamination and protect people’s health.”

      The ground water pollution has impacted several public water supply wells. The Orange Park and Gist Place wells serve a combined population of more than 10,000 people. After discovering the contamination in the early 1980s, the Orange Water Department installed a treatment system on the wells to remove the contaminants and provide the community with safe drinking water. Water from these wells is regularly monitored to ensure that the treatment system is effective and that people’s health continues to be protected. The former Brook Lane public supply well, which is located between the Orange Park and Gist Place wells, was taken out of service to protect the public from the contamination.

      In 2011, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection asked EPA to consider the Orange Valley Regional Ground Water site for inclusion on the federal Superfund list. EPA conducted an initial assessment and is today proposing that the site be included on the list. The EPA is continuing its investigation to identify sources of the ground water contamination.

      Nationwide, EPA is proposing to add 10 other sites to the Superfund list today and is designating nine others as final on the list.

      With the proposal of this site to the Superfund list, a 60-day comment period will begin during which the EPA is soliciting public input on this proposed action. For instructions on how to submit comments, go to:
      http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/pubcom.htm.

      For the
      Federal Register notice and supporting documents on the proposed Superfund listing, on the day of publication, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm. Comments can be submitted, identified by Docket number EPA-HQ-SFUND-2011-0068, by one of the following methods:

      Online:
      http://www.regulations.gov - Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

      Email:
      superfund.docket@epa.gov

      Mail: Mail comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; (Mail Code 5305T); 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20460

      Hand Delivery or Express Mail: Send comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW; EPA West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays).

      For more information on the Superfund listing process, visit:
      http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/npl_hrs.htm or contact Ildefonso Acosta, Region 2 NPL Coordinator, at 212-637-4344, acosta.ildefonso@epa.gov.

      For more information on Superfund, go to http://www.epa.gov/superfund/.

      Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.

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