EPA unveils plan to clean up portions of ‘polluted’ Passaic River

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

The Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled a plan to help clean up a portion of the Passaic River some call the most polluted waterway in the country.

The cleanup is likely to start in 2024. The project will clean the northern part of the river from Newark and North Arlington up to the Dundee Dam in Garfield – and area of about nine miles.

Dredging will be done to remove contaminated silt.

Other portions will be capped, which means digging four feet into the river bed and placing a rubber cover and rocks on top. But some environmentalists say that they are worried that it won’t be safe enough.

Much of the pollution comes from what was the Diamond Alkali plant in Newark, which was once located on Lister Avenue. From 1951 until 1969, the company dumped dioxins, pesticides and a byproduct of Agent Orange into the Passaic River.

The waterway is considered a Superfund site as a result. Fishing is prohibited.

The EPA announced in 2015 that the lower-eight miles of the river would also be dredged. This work has not yet begun.

The plan is part of a $1.4 billion project.

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