Concerns arise over contamination from Hoffman Laroche pharmaceutical site in Nutley

The closing of a Nutley pharmaceutical plant is causing concern among residents in the surrounding community.

The shutting down of a Nutley pharmaceutical plant

The shutting down of a Nutley pharmaceutical plant is causing concern among residents in the surrounding community. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

NUTLEY - The closing of a Nutley pharmaceutical plant is causing concern among residents in the surrounding community.

The Hoffman Laroche plant is closing for good and many are worried about ground pollution and water runoff that will remain long after the doors are closed.

Karen Schaller worked there for years and lives right next to the plant. "They're doing all this work on the soil but none of these properties have been tested," she says.

Laroche is testing the ground within 200 feet of its plant and Schaller's home falls in that grid, but she's concerned that they will miss contamination that falls just outside that limit. 
      
Hoffman Laroche has construction and possibly cleanup equipment on site, and the company says it's committed to cleaning any contamination. A report on its website states, "Data from the scientific investigation indicate there are no threats to human health or safety from groundwater contamination migrating from the Laroche site."

Another report also says a broken Clifton sewer may have mixed sanitary waste with ground contamination. It's unclear who will be picking up the $1 million tab to fix and clean up that site.

Sean Ryan lives near the plant and suspects ground contamination could impact water. "We all got letters saying it's contamination from years ago. Laundry detergent chemicals, something like that," he says. "They're saying 'It's 30, 60 feet down. It's not going to decrease property values, not going to contaminate,' but there are wells all over."

Despite the environmental concerns, Schaller defended Hoffman Laroche and its business practices. "They were a company like no other," she says. "They cared about employees, they cared about homes in the vicinity."

Residents met with Laroche officials at the end of May. A public comment session on cleanup has been extended to July 2. 
     
Hoffman Laroche has said it will vacate the site in Nutley by 2015.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

1 VIDEO: Families of victim, suspect argue in Paterson court
A bacterial infection known as leptospirosis is affecting 2 Bacterial infection affecting dogs in New Jersey
News 12 New Jersey - Weather On The 3 New Jersey Weather Forecast
There were speeches, flag waving, chants of U-S-A, 4 President Trump supporters rally on Seaside Heights boardwalk
New Jersey Transit expects to operate on a 5 NJ Transit to operate on regular weekend schedule following derailment

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE