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Polluted land and urban schools – A photo essay

*** Apologies – NJ.Com took down the photos, which were originally published on my “NJ Voices” column at NJ.Com. I was able to save the text, but not the photos. What assholes.

This news article powerfully tells the story –

New Jersey Program Bought Polluted Lands for Low-income Schools
by Megan Tady
In what critics consider one of the more blatant examples of environmental racism, a fund supposedly intended to give a leg up to impoverished pupils of color was used to put them at risk while favoring private developers. http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/3800

But they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are photos of controversial school sites across NJ where toxic contamination forced community outrage.

This photo sketch is just the tip of the iceberg – hundreds of schools and day care centers are involved.

Sites are listed in the following order, with a brief narrative caption: 1) Trenton; 2) Neptune, 3) Camden, 4) Garfield, 5) Paramus, 6) Passaic City school; 7) Passaic City day care, 8) Clifton and 9) Gloucester City

Trenton Martin Luther King Jr. school site – toxic soil was imported and used as “clean fill” sparking community outrage that forced demolition of the partially built school at a $27 million loss
Neptune – growth of toxic mold due to shoddy construction and mismanagement forced partial demolition and reconstruction at a loss of millions of dollars
Camden Early Childhood Development Center – being built on old landfill.
Garfield – Middle school was built on toxic industrial site. Cleanup of toxic vapors in soil and groundwater was ongoing when school opened – parents were notified just weeks before school started.
Garfield – early child center is co-located on contaminated former industrial site.
Paramus Middle School – school officials failed to notify parents about a small pile of pesticide contaminated soils. Outraged parents convinced the Mayor to order the school closed and the Superintendent was fired.
Passaic City school sits directly adjacent to toxic old industrial site – DEP and City officials have dragged their feet for years on cleanup.
Passaic City day care center located next to contaminated site. The School Construction Corporation demolished the hospital previously located at the site but have yet to build the school due to contamination discovered after demolition started.
Passaic City day care – trailers and play ground exposed directly to site.
Clifton – proposed new High SChool proposed to be located in covnerted industrial building. Soil and groundwater are contaminated. Polluting industries are located on three sides of building in an industrial zone.
Clifton HS site
Clifton HS site
Gloucester City – middle school to be built on Superfund site. Millions waste on cleanup and relocation of residents
Gloucester City – Polluting industry located directly across street from proposed school on Superfund site.
Gloucester City – school located in an industrial zone on a Superfund site
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