LYNDHURST — Federal environmental officials will explain plans to remove dioxin-laden mud from the Passaic River near the banks of Riverside County Park at a public meeting Thursday night at the town’s senior center.
The meeting will center on a recently released report
that details the $20 million cleanup project — a complex operation that
will involve dredging enough contaminated river mud to fill 1,500 large
dump trucks, shipping it downriver in barges low enough to get under 17
small bridges and finally putting a barrier over the remaining mud
strong enough to stand up to major storms.
“We want to make sure the public has an opportunity to
review these plans and offer input,” said David Kluesner, a spokesman
for the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which is overseeing the
River is one of the most polluted waterways in the nation and a federal
Superfund site for 17 miles, from the Dundee Dam that spans Garfield and Clifton to Newark Bay.
For decades, the only large amount of dioxin — a highly
toxic industrial chemical and a known carcinogen — in the river was
next to the former Diamond Alkali plant in Newark where the infamous
Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange was manufactured and dioxin was
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