Thursday, May 4, 2017

NJ Lawmakers Want Argentina To Help Pay For River Cleanup

Argentina's efforts to bolster its trade with the U.S. could run into complications due to its ties to a former producer of Agent Orange.
Mauricio Macri, Argentina's president and a longtime business associate of Donald Trump, visited the White House last week to tout his country as a potential trade partner — and potentially help jump-start a struggling economy back home.
But the visit came as officials at both the federal and state levels fight with Argentina's state-owned oil company over pollution in the Passaic River in northeastern New Jersey, Foreign Policy reports.
The Passaic is in the midst of one of the most expensive industrial cleanup efforts in the U.S. history after decades of heavy manufacturing clouded the river with metals, pesticides and other toxins.
Hundreds of companies that operated factories along the Passaic were blamed for the contamination, but authorities are particularly interested in the operators of a Newark facility that formerly produced Agent Orange.
The potent herbicide was famously used to clear vegetation for U.S. forces during the Vietnam War, and the Newark factory likely contributed to the bulk of carcinogenic dioxins polluting the lower Passaic.
Diamond Alkali, which made Agent Orange in Newark, merged with another company in the late 1960s and was then acquired by Maxus Energy Corp. in 1983. Occidental Chemical acquired Maxus' chemical business three years later, but the remainder of Maxus' operations — and liabilities — was purchased by YPF, the state-owned Argentinian company, in 1995.

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