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Delay Puts Passaic River Cleanup In Doubt

The federal cleanup plan for the lower Passaic River has been delayed, giving rise to fears the plan will be scaled back to lessen the financial burden on 100 responsible businesses.
The federal cleanup plan for the lower Passaic River has been delayed, giving rise to fears the plan will be scaled back to lessen the financial burden on 100 responsible businesses. Photo Credit: Rebecca Abma

PASSAIC COUNTY, N.J. -- A federal cleanup plan for the Passaic River is a year behind schedule, and has skeptics saying the delay makes them apprehensive that the final result won’t be sufficient, Northjersey.com reported.

Environmentalists who monitor the river and the proposed cleanup efforts fear the wholesale dredging of toxic mud is now going to be scaled back, the story said.

If the plan is approved as originally envisioned, it will cost $1.7 billion and be the costliest Superfund cleanup in U.S. history, according to Northjersey.com. Companies responsible for the cleanup want a smaller and, needless to say, cheaper version. Environmentalists believe the cleanup doesn’t go far enough, and federal lawmakers call it a good solution.

The final plan is expected to be issued by federal officials soon. Originally announced in April 2014, it was due for completion earlier this year. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wasn’t prepared for the hundreds of comments it received. One company alone submitted a 1,300 page report, Northjersey.com said.

EPA officials responsible for New Jersey are still finalizing the plan, and have said it will be public before the end of this year, or in early 2015, according to Northjersey.com.

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