Coast Guard Strike Team Assists EPA in Contaminated River Cleanup

Two members of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Strike Team are working with the Environmental Protection Agency by collecting soil samples in contaminated portions of the Passaic River in Newark, N.J., Monday.

The Strike Team members are monitoring air quality, ensuring safety standards are met and providing photographic documentation at the dredging sites. Soil sample collection at the site will continue until Saturday as the initial phases of the cleanup project begin.

The sediments of the lower Passaic River, the longest river in New Jersey, are contaminated with a variety of hazardous substances including: dioxin, PCBs, mercury, DDT, pesticides and heavy metals.

The Lower Passaic River Restoration Project is a partnership of federal and state agencies designed to clean up contaminated sediments, improve water quality, restore degraded shorelines, create new habitats and enhance public recreation along a 17-mile stretch of the river. The project also includes several tributaries from Dundee Dam near Garfield to Newark Bay.

For more information about the EPA’s response contact David Kluesner at (212) 637-3653.

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