Home > Uncategorized > Pompton Lakes Residents Urge Gov. Christie to Seek EPA Superfund Cleanup at Dupont Site

Pompton Lakes Residents Urge Gov. Christie to Seek EPA Superfund Cleanup at Dupont Site

Gov. Immediately Rejects Request – Takes Cheap Shot at EPA, and Defends Failed DEP Cleanup

[Update: 8/8/12 – With no content review or consultation with Pompton Lakes residents, Gov. Christie Rejected the Citizen’s Superfund Petition.

In doing so, the Gov. Echoed the Talking Points of Pompton Lakes Puppets, see the Gov. clueless and ideological comments in this Bergen Record story:

Governor Christie weighed in Tuesday on DuPont’s pollution cleanup in Pompton Lakes, advising residents to “Be careful what you wish for” after they pleaded with his office to support having the contaminated areas designated as a federal Superfund site.

Christie said “appropriate progress” is being made in the cleanup of toxic chemicals under the supervision of Bob Martin, the state Department of Environmental Protection’s commissioner who has approved DuPont’s clean-up plans. The cleanup is in better hands locally than if the federal government were to take full control, Christie said.

Currently, the DEP shares supervision with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“I understand it never goes fast enough for the people who live there,” Christie said. “But if they really want to see something slow down, give it to the EPA and it will probably slow down pretty significantly.”

Local control is a slogan for masking republican deregulation and regulatory rollback.

Twenty eight (28) YEARS of cleanup inaction is not “appropriate progress”.

EPA’s own RCRA enforcement policy recommends that EPA take enforcement action and use Superfund tools to supplement RCRA permits at sites “stuck in RCRA corrective action” for 3 years – certainly 24 years warrants enforcement!

EPA now must Step Up and Enforce Cleanup Laws on Giant Polluter Dupont.

DEP is an unreliable partner and EPA can expect nothing but hostility from DEP Commissioner Martin and the Christie Front Office. – end update

Residents of Pompton Lakes – supported by Edison Wetlands Association, NJ PEER and Sierra Club –  converged on the State House today to present Gov. Christie with a petition – signed by more than 10,000 people – demanding that the cleanup of the Dupont site be designated a national priority by US EPA under the Superfund program.

EPA documents show that the Dupont site qualifies for the Superfund program based on risk, particularly considering that the poisoning of 450 homes is the largest “vapor intrusion” site in the country.

After 24 years of DEP failure to hold Dupont accountable for cleanup, the people are fed up and do not trust Dupont or DEP to protect their lives and homes.

Here’s their press release:



Community members and environmental leaders hand delivered an emergency request at State House to Governor Christie to nominate Pompton Lakes DuPont Works site as a federal Superfund site 

A Box of Chocolates for Christie - Petitions endorsed by over 10,000 people

Trenton, New Jersey –  Community members from Pompton Lakes, New Jersey and several nonprofit environmental groups including Citizens for a Clean Pompton Lakes, Pompton Lakes Community Advisory Group, Edison Wetlands Association, and New Jersey Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility called on Governor Chris Christie to nominate the Pompton Lakes DuPont Works Site for the federal United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).  They hand-delivered their request letter along with a supporting petition that has garnered over 10,000 signatures to the Governor’s office.   The groups are called on Governor Christie to give complete control of the site to USEPA, which will give more authority to the government to control the cleanup and increased community engagement.   “This a historical landmark day as we venture to Trenton with an emergency request to Governor Chris Christie to nominate our community’s toxic legacy to be designated to the Superfund National Priority List. We believe that full federal control of the DuPont Works site will  bring true oversight, ensure that a goal will be set for a high standard residential cleanup, and finally bring our residents a “true voice” and real community participation,” said Citizens for A Clean Pompton Lakes Executive Director Lisa Riggiola. “Our health, quality-of-life and financial well-being has suffered catastrophically, and without this designation, future generations and our environment will continue to suffer.  The time is now for positive change to provide hope for a brighter future.”

The urgent request comes at a critical time when families in over 400 homes continue to breathe in toxic vapors that rise into their basements from contaminated groundwater, locals unknowingly fishing in the mercury and lead laden Pompton Lake, and residents living in fear everyday that they will become another cancer victim from the decades of poison in their community. …

Based on the human health risks from the DuPont site, it clearly qualifies as a national priority for the NPL. But USEPA’s Superfund listing policy calls on State Governor’s to either initiate listing via a request to EPA or to concur with EPA’s recommended listing.

“We call on Governor Christie to recommend to USEPA that the DuPont site be listed as a national priority,” stated New Jersey Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Director Bill Wolfe. “This will secure additional federal resources and provide greater community involvement for Pompton Lakes residents poisoned by DuPont. Residents need to know government is on their side protecting them, not polluters.”

Christie immediately rejected the request – with virtually no consideration of the issue.

Defending the indefensible, Christie defended the DEP’s failed oversight of the Dupont cleanup – still not complete after 24 years and actually getting worse by poisoning people in their homes – while taking the opportunity for a typical Christie cheap shot at EPA. As reported by PolitickerNJ.com:

DEP taking appropriate steps with Pompton Lakes site, Christie says

TRENTON – In a wide-ranging press conference today, Gov. Chris Christie said he believes the state Department of Environmental Protection is taking the appropriate steps regarding a contaminated site at Pompton Lakes.

Earlier today, advocates presented a petition to the governor’s office urging him to support their call for placing the site on  the EPA Superfund list.

Christie, however, said that residents of Pompton Lakes should “be careful what you wish for,” adding that the EPA has been slow in remediating current sites throughout the state that have been declared Superfund sites.

“If they really want to see something slow down, hand it to the EPA,’’ he said.


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. Scott Olson
    August 7th, 2012 at 19:46 | #1

    The man knows he’s still in the Veepstakes w/ Mittens, so he’s playing to the far-right-wing-nut base with an anti-EPA stance. The sooner we get rid of this loser, the better. November 2013 can’t come quick enough.

  2. August 7th, 2012 at 20:22 | #2

    Slow it down Governor?? Are you kdding??? 20+ years with NJDEP at the reins and no clean-up! Besides we have a responsible party which is DuPont and we do not need federal money to clean up Pompton Lakes!

  3. kerry smith
    August 7th, 2012 at 20:38 | #3

    Mr Christie,
    Can you put down that box of twinkie’s, and do something positive for these residents of Pompton Lakes who have waited years for this clean-up to happen. We would like to see some action here, perhaps maybe a few glasses of the wonderful lake water will help your decision. Thank you.

    A tired citizen, watching the politicians sit back for years, doing nothing but passing the buck to the next guy.

    kerry smith

  4. August 7th, 2012 at 21:48 | #4

    @Kerry Smith – wow to make a comment like that so quicky. Did the Governor actually ready through the petition and see all the comments made by the 10,760+ people that have signed this petition? Thirty years and how can he say the NJDEP is taking the appropriate steps? We are no closer to a clean-up than we were back in the 1980s when the initial contamination information was released to the public??? Now it has been over four years since we have found out (it was known in 2001 btw) in 2008 that we also had vapor intrusion contamination. I just don’t get these people. The EPA is better equipped to take full lead oversight on this very complex contamination that affects hundreds of families which is crippling our community!

  5. Sharon Saranovic
    August 8th, 2012 at 00:47 | #5

    So exactly what is the Gov. trying to tell us about the EPA?…………….that statement sure makes one feel good………………As far as for slowness, could this situation possibly be handled any slower than it has been even if that is the case? I just don’t get this, call me naive maybe? How can anyone see the amount of time the residents of Pompton Lakes have been waiting and not recognize the necessity to initiate an immediate action to get this contamination cleaned up once and for all correctly and as quickly as humanly possible? The fact that it is potential health and well being issues for the residents alone should be enough to warrant action! I can only shake my head in wonder as to what does it actually take, we are contaminated, we know who has contaminated us yet we have no clue as to when where or how they intend to fix us………………Please stop wasting time I don’t live in the Plume but the fact that my friends do and are suffering and the fact that there is a Plume in the town I live in certainly concerns me. Is anyone under the impression it is going to fix it’s self, has anyone guaranteed it will remain contained while we are all waiting as the ball volley’s from court to court?

  6. August 8th, 2012 at 08:59 | #6

    Hey Pompton Folks :

    Thanks for you work yesterday.

    Notice how the Governor’s spin just happens to be identical to the complaints by the Puppets?

    The Puppets all complained about EPA delay in finalizing the RCRA permit for the Lake cleanup at the recent EPA outreach meeting.

    This is all a coordinated partisan political charade.

    Those are called talking points.

  7. Lauren Drumm
    August 8th, 2012 at 11:54 | #7

    Chris Christie is obviously ill informed or is up to typical political bull if he thinks that the DEP is helping the community of Pompton Lakes. I don’t understand how DuPont has gotten away with not being held accountable for the clean up! Let’s be honest, they have the money to do it! It’s time for these corporate polluters and complacent politicians to be held accountable for their disservice to the citizens of Pompton Lakes.

  8. Lauren Graziano
    August 8th, 2012 at 12:17 | #8

    Thanks Wolfe for another accurate coverage of the seriousness surrounding Pompton Lakes. Exactly how ridiculous does our governor sounds? This “local control” that is in effect now, has taking over 24 years for any proper clean up efforts and to actually hold DuPont accountable, instead of giving them complete control over clean up methods. Making this site a Superfund site under the NPL will guarantee public input and can’t possibly be any slower than what the DEP and DuPont are doing. The polluters are in charge of their own cleanup. How does that sound right to anyone. These residents need to government on their side and proper cleanup and accountability where it matters.

  9. Matthew DeFilippo
    August 8th, 2012 at 12:18 | #9

    I’m willing to bet the Governor, at the time of his statement, had no idea about any of the progress made at the DuPont Pompton Lakes site. If he did he would know the progress couldn’t get any slower.

    When you are dealing with your citizens health you cannot just brush it away with such comments. The DuPont site needs to become a Superfund Site because it appears that is the only way anything will get done. The peoples’ health is worth doing the right thing and doing it right.

  10. Tricia Fiorianti
    August 8th, 2012 at 14:04 | #10

    It is disgraceful how Governor Christie so callously brushes off the pleas of his citizens. How many more people have to suffer for his ignorance? If numbers are all that matters, how many more people have to sign this petition to get his attention? Governor Christie probably did not even take the time to research how long this has been going on before he rejected the request because he saw that NJDEP had its hands on this site. Is keeping this in local control really going to take any longer than if the EPA had handled this from the start? After twenty-four years enough is enough.

  11. Monica DuFour
    August 9th, 2012 at 00:50 | #11

    It just makes me so mad that Christie how arrogant he is. He barely gave any consideration to Pompton Lakes. Pompton needs to become a Superfund site. I wonder if he would react differently if it was where he lived…

  12. August 9th, 2012 at 12:39 | #12

    450+ PLUS FAMILIES ARE LIVING IN SERIOUS KNOWN CONTAMINATION FOR DECADES FROM THE RESULT OF HISTORICAL TOXIC LEGACY IN POMPTON LAKES, NJ! Take a few minutes today please by signing and sharing this petition with your friends. 10,768 people
    have signed our change.org petition. http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-dupont-chemical-from-poisoning-new-jersey-families . If you have signed already, please help out and continue to share Thank you for caring.

  13. Ed Meakem
  14. Ed Meakem
    August 13th, 2012 at 19:28 | #14

    The Best one I have seen yet is tell the Gov Old boy Dunkin Donuts is contaminated
    He will get it fixed!

  1. September 9th, 2012 at 09:18 | #1
  2. May 13th, 2015 at 12:42 | #2
  3. February 16th, 2016 at 23:07 | #3
You must be logged in to post a comment.