Raritan River Hazardous Waste Warning Posted

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The Edison Wetlands Association has issued this statement:


"The company Akzo Nobel Chemicals recently erected a warning sign on the edge of the public Edison Boat Basin to keep families away from the ongoing discharge of hazardous substances and solid waste into the Raritan River just 100 yards upstream.  The sign is likely the result of the long-time advocacy, federal lawsuit, and recent bi-weekly public protests by Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) for the cleanup of this riverfront site." The EWA's lawsuit continues.

The rest of their statement continues here:


"While it is unfortunate that Akzo and Basell continue to allow this toxic chemical seep to pollute the Raritan River, the installation of a warning sign to keep families away from this toxic playground is a positive first step that we have requested for a long time now," said EWA Executive Director Robert Spiegel.  "However, this sign is no substitute for a real cleanup and in no way protects the health of the families and children who fish, crab, boat, jet-ski, walk and recreate in and along the river near the public boat basin.  What really needs to happen is for Akzo and Basell to stop the chemical seep and clean up their toxic mess once and for all."


The sign notes, "Posted on December 23, 2008," even though the cement was wet and fresh on the afternoon of January 6, 2009.


EWA's lawsuit, filed in January 2008, charged Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Akzo Nobel, and Basell with violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  Just 100 yards upstream from the Edison Boat Basin, where dozens of residents fish daily, sampling by Akzo's own consultant, Sovereign Consulting, found the carcinogens benzene at over 860 times acceptable levels and arsenic at over 550 times above New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection surface water criteria.  EWA's sampling also found high levels of the carcinogens 4-chloroaniline and asbestos, as well as other contaminants."

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