ESSEX COUNTY - The Environmental Protection Agency is calling for a $1.7 billion cleanup of the heavily polluted lower Passaic River in New Jersey.

The government plans to use Superfund money paid by polluters to dredge the lower two miles of the waterway and to cap the six miles above that from bank to bank.

A Newark plant that made Agent Orange was one of more than 100 facilities blamed for polluting the river.

"A waste byproduct of the manufacture of Agent Orange was dioxin, and that got dumped on their property," says EPA Superfund Director Walter Mugdan. "It blew into the community and a lot got dumped into the river and sloshes up and down because the river is tidal."

EPA officials say they'll also remove pollutants like mercury and DDT.  
A public comment period is scheduled to last until June with a final, detailed plan to be unveiled next year.