Environmental watchdog sues to protect Raritan River

A conservation group has launched a federal lawsuit to protect the Raritan River from being contaminated with hazardous waste.

The Edison Wetlands Association is suing Akzo Nobel Chemicals and Basell USA to force the companies to clean up contaminants it says are seeping into the Edison Boat Basin.

Environmentalist Robert Spiegel, executive director of Edison Wetlands Association, says the group has found dangerously high levels of carcinogens in the soil on the banks of the Raritan through testing. The group hopes the lawsuit will prevent the further discharge of deadly chemicals into the river.

"This is a giant layer of tar of chemical waste," says Spiegel. "Underneath, you have these other chemicals that are dripping constantly, basically bleeding poison that goes ? right into the river."

Residents like Bob Salgado say they've smelled an odor from the riverbanks for 30 years. Edison Wetlands Association says the odor is benzine.

News 12 New Jersey could not reach either company for comment. Calls to the state Department of Environmental Protection also were not returned.

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