POMPTON LAKES - Homeowners near a contaminated site in Pompton Lakes say they are angry after learning the owner will not completely clean up the property.
DuPont has proposed a plan to remove some of the toxic soil on a former munitions factory property and cap the rest.
Lisa Riggiola, spokesperson for the group Citizens of Pompton Lakes, says capping is not the answer. "It's very sad to hear that after all these years they would even want to leave some of this contamination here, knowing it's traveling to other communities and knowing people have gotten sick," she says.
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The contamination includes lead, mercury, arsenic and various cancer-causing toxins.
"The chemicals on DuPont's site are still going into the ground, going into the aquifer, so they are still present," says neighbor Joe Intintola. "Putting a clean fill on top is not removing the contamination."
There are more than 500 homes affected in Pompton Lakes. Residents fear the soil and their drinking water, which comes from wells, is also toxic.
DuPont says it has been addressing the groundwater plume since 1998. As far as the contamination on its property, the company says it is not feasible to remove all of the contaminated soil. A spokesperson says it is working with the EPA and New Jersey DEP to finalize the remediation plan.
Residents want the agencies to hold DuPont to a higher standard. "Although they make millions of dollars they won't spend the money to do this properly unless it is enforced," says Riggiola.
DuPont says the cleanup plan meets guidelines for redeveloping the land for conservation and recreational use as well as commercial or industrial development.