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New Jersey Officials Continue to Drop the Ball on Newark’s Water Problems

bottled water

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, after spending the better part of the last 2 years attacking everything that is “Trump”, New Jersey officials failed to take any action to fix Newark’s water problems . Several other New Jersey cities are currently facing a similar fate.

But in a joint statement issued Sunday afternoon, Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Ras Baraka said safe drinking water was critically important and called on the federal government to help.

The EPA tested and found high levels of lead with filters in two residences in Newark. The agency strongly encouraged the city of Newark to take immediate action. DEP Commissioner McCabe responded to EPA that, “EPA has not offered any support in providing bottled water to the city or in distributing that bottled water. Given the concerns EPA has here, we hope that EPA will offer assistance promptly.”

Continue reading New Jersey Officials Continue to Drop the Ball on Newark’s Water Problems
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Democratic Congressman turned a blind eye to this unprecedented 10 month environmental disaster in Upper Saddle River

photo courtesy Derek Michalski

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ ,  the Group GreenUSR , is challenging Congressman Josh Gottheimer and his rival John McCann to debate the environment .

The Environmental Debate between Congressman Josh Gottheimer and his opponent attorney John McCann is being proposed by GreenUSR. Will small brook in Bergen County called Pleasant Brook/Saddle River oust popular Democratic Congressman who turned a blind eye to this unprecedented 10 month environmental disaster time will tell. John McCann is ready to rumble! So are GreenUSR members.

Continue reading Democratic Congressman turned a blind eye to this unprecedented 10 month environmental disaster in Upper Saddle River

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Upper Saddle River Attorney Files Criminal Complaint against Developer Toll Brothers for Alleged Intentional Discharging Storm Water

May 16,2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River Nj, In the spirit of the below Toll Brothers settlement GreenUSR member accompanied by his lawyer Garth Molander, Esq. filed criminal complaint against Toll Brothers with the local prosecutor‘s office for alleged intentional discharging storm water into Pleasant Brook and dumping remediated arsenic and lead sediment into local waterways. Instead of following the above settlement agreement Toll Brothers recklessly dumped heavy mud for four consecutive months and didn’t take any precautions to protect our beloved GreenUSR environment.

“EPA estimates the settlement will prevent millions of pounds of sediment from entering U.S. waterways every year, including sediment that would otherwise enter the Chesapeake Bay, North America’s largest and most biologically diverse estuary. The bay and its tidal tributaries are threatened by pollution from a variety of sources and are overburdened with nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that can be carried by stormwater.”
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Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels


July 25,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, by the looks of some of the comments yesterday , some residents in Ridgewood have clearly been drinking water with with lead in it for far to long.

In April the Ridgewood blog reported on the test results in the Ridgewood school system . The State of New Jersey requires all drinking water in our school facilities to be tested for lead during the 2016-2017 school year.

According to the EPA , “Lead can enter drinking water when service pipes that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder, from which significant amounts of lead can enter into the water, especially hot water.”
The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur with an adequate margin of safety. These non-enforceable health goals, based solely on possible health risks, are called maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs). EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water at zero because lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels. Lead is persistent, and it can bioaccumulate in the body over time.

Young children, infants, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults. A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that public health actions be initiated when the level of lead in a child’s blood is 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or more.

It is important to recognize all the ways a child can be exposed to lead. Children are exposed to lead in paint, dust, soil, air, and food, as well as drinking water. If the level of lead in a child’s blood is at or above the CDC action level of 5 micrograms per deciliter, it may be due to lead exposures from a combination of sources. EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 percent to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.

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ridgewood water


This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for southern Connecticut,
northeast New Jersey and southeast New York.


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has issued an
Air Quality Action Day for the following counties…


in effect from 11 AM this morning to 11 PM EDT this evening.

An Air Quality Action Day means that Ground Level Ozone within the
region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards.

For additional information…please visit the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection Web site at…

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The most toxic sites in each New Jersey county

town garage ridgewood

no its not the town garage in Ridgewood 


New Jersey has more places under the federal Superfund program, which prioritizes cleanups of dangerous contaminated sites, than any other state.

Many have histories more colorful than an oil slick: A massive chemical fire at a mob-controlled waste storage facility. Agent Orange in the Passaic River. Local wildlife turned green. And the only site ever to be put on the Superfund list twice.

While many of those sites have been cleaned up, they require longterm treatment and monitoring. With the EPA’s budget on the chopping block under President Donald Trump’s administration, advocates worry things will backslide for the Superfund, which has already been near-broke for decades.

“Just think about it: We’ve got over a hundred Superfund sites in this state. We’ve got 21 counties,” former Gov. Jim Florio, who wrote the Superfund law when he was in Congress in the early 1980s, said recently. “Nobody lives very far from these sites.”


Garfield Groundwater Contamination

The former E.C. Electroplating company’s activity at this Garfield site spilled and leaked cancer-causing chromium into the ground, creating a plume of groundwater contamination at least a half a mile wide. One of New Jersey’s orphan sites, the EPA hasn’t identified a funding source for a cleanup, and says there’s “insufficient data” to measure the risk it poses to the surrounding community.

The city’s mayor appeared in front of a U.S. Senate hearing to plead for federal dollars for the site in 2014, but the cleanup still lacks funds.

Curcio Scrap Metal, Inc.

This active scrap metal yard in Saddle Brook saw a spill of oil containing PCBs in the 1980s and a major cleanup project in the 90s. Because of the nature of the work done there, it was also contaminated with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds, according to the EPA. Soil cleanup was completed long ago but groundwater cleanup is ongoing.

Fair Lawn Well Field

This site includes three municipal drinking water wells in the Bergen County borough. Volatile organic compounds were detected in the water in the late 1970s and traced to a nearby industrial park. Monitoring is ongoing, but the EPA says it has “insufficient data” to determine the site’s threat to human health.


Maywood Chemical Co.

The Maywood Chemical Works processed radioactive thorium ore from 1916 to 1955. The work generated chemical and radioactive waste.

The site is being cleaned up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the company deemed responsible for the contamination. Cleanup of radioactive soil is “underway” and the rest of the plan is “in development,” according to EPA.

Quanta Resources Corporation

This site saw nearly a century of coal tar, paving and roofing material production along what was once an industrial wasteland along the Hudson River. Now surrounded by booming waterfront development, the EPA is overseeing cleanup of PCBs and other contaminants, but says it has “insufficient data” to determine the site’s threat to human health.

Berry’s Creek Study Area

A small chunk of the Meadowlands in Bergen County is home to three distinct Superfund sites along Berry’s Creek, a six-mile tributary of the Hackensack River. The area includes the Scientific Chemical site in Carlstadt, Universal Oil Products site in East Rutherford and the Ventron/Velsicol site, which spans Wood-Ridge and Carlstadt.

All three sites are laden with PCBs and Berry’s Creek is considered among the most mercury-laden locations in the country. Only the Scientific Chemical site is listed as “under control.”

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The Village of Ridgewood Site Remediation of the North Walnut Street Parking Lot





U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield Grant Application

In accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Grant Applications, community notification policies, the Village Council of the Village of Ridgewood, at its regularly scheduled public work session to be held on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 starting at 7:30 pm, or shortly thereafter, in the Level Four Courtroom of Village Hall, 131 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey, will hear a presentation on the following:

“US Environmental Protection Agency 2017 Brownfields Grant Proposals

For the Site Remediation of the North Walnut Street Parking Lot ; Lots 3 and 4, Block 3805”

The Village of Ridgewood is seeking to apply for two (2) US EPA 2017 Brownfield Grants. One is an Assessment Grant and the second is a Cleanup Grant for the Village property known as the North Walnut Street Parking Lot, also known as Lots 3 and 4, of Block 3805. The purpose of this discussion will be to hear a presentation on the grant funding proposals for assessment and cleanup of the Village parcel, as well as to solicit public comment on the grant applications and the proposed use of funds.

A copy of the 2017 USEPA Brownfields Grant proposal applications will be available in the Office of the Village Clerk, Level 5, Village Hall, 131 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey.   Comments regarding the grant proposals will be incorporated into the grant applications and may also be submitted in writing to the Village Clerk no later than December 15, 2016 by the close of business.

Heather A. Mailander, Village Clerk

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Environmental Working Group claims Toxin Made Famous by Erin Brockovich Prevalent in NJ Drinking Water


September 21,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In the film “Erin Brockovich,” the environmental crusader confronts the lawyer of a power company that polluted the tap water of Hinkley, Calif., with a carcinogenic chemical called chromium-6. When the lawyer picks up a glass of water, Brockovich says: “We had that water brought in ‘specially for you folks. Came from a well in Hinkley.”The lawyer sets down the glass and says, “I think this meeting’s over.”

It’s almost 25 years after that real-life confrontation, the conflict over chromium-6 is not over. A new EWG analysis of federal data from nationwide drinking water tests shows that the compound contaminates water supplies for more than 200 million Americans in all 50 states.

Federal and state regulators are stalled with no national regulation of a chemical yet ,state scientists in California and elsewhere say causes cancer when ingested at even extraordinarily low levels.

Alarm bells have been rung by the Environmental Working Group a Environmental Advocacy group who’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.

EWG says in 2008, a two-year study by the National Toxicology Program found that drinking water with chromium-6, or hexavalent chromium, caused cancer in laboratory rats and mice. Based on this and other animal studies, in 2010, scientists at the respected and influential California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment concluded that ingestion of tiny amounts of chromium-6 can cause cancer in people, a conclusion affirmed by state scientists in New Jersey and North Carolina.

In New Jersey, the press reported the water quality institute’s recommendation before it could be formally submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection for development of a regulation. According to former DEP planner Bill Wolfe, now an environmental advocate, this angered Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, appointed by Gov. Chris Christie. Wolfe said Martin not only blocked submission of the recommendation, but effectively stopped the institute from meeting for four years,[15] delaying drinking water regulations for more than a dozen chemicals.

In a statement to EWG, a Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said the department “vehemently disagrees with the EWG’s contention that political pressure in any way influenced the New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute’s consideration of an MCL for chromium-6.” The spokesman said EWG’s characterization is based on the “opinion of a single, former NJDEP employee who was last employed by the agency 12 years ago,” and that EWG’s criticism is “critically flawed – and blatantly misleading.”

Human studies by government and independent scientists worldwide have definitively established that breathing airborne chromium-6 particles can cause lung cancer, and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets strict limits for airborne chromium-6 in the workplace. Whether inhaled or ingested, it can also cause liver damage, reproductive problems and developmental harm. Studies have found that exposure to chromium-6 may present greater risks to certain groups, including infants and children, people who take antacids, and people with poorly functioning livers.

In a 2009 letter the NJ DEP stated , “We agree that the results of the recently completed National Toxicology Program (NTP, 2007) chronic drinking water study indicate that hexavalent chromium is carcinogenic by ingestion. We also agree that development of an oral cancer slope factor for hexavalent chromium based on a non-threshold approach is appropriate, and that the data from the NTP (2007) study provide an appropriate basis for developing such an oral cancer slope factor. Prior to the completion of the NTP (2007) study, several laboratory animal and human epidemiology studies suggested that hexavalent chromium could be carcinogenic by the oral route, but no study showing this definitively or providing data suitable for quantitative risk assessment was available.”

DEP Map :

Ridgewood Water Consumer Confidence Report :

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Garrett Demands that EPA Re-Evaluate Cleanup of Ringwood Superfund Site

House Budget Panel Holds Hearing to Receive  Views on Fiscal 2012

Apr 25, 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) today called upon U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy and EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck to re-evaluate their decision to place a barrier over the 166,000 tons of contaminated materials at the Ringwood Superfund Site instead of pursuing complete removal of the toxic substances.

Recent discoveries of significant levels of 1,4-dioxane, a probable human carcinogen that may result in liver, kidney, and upper respiratory damage, at levels close to 100 times the state maximum standard, raises new concerns about the EPA’s decision to cap the site. Congressman Garrett demands that the EPA identify all potential toxic substances that may be present at the Ringwood Superfund Site and ensure that a new cleanup plan rectifies the presence of all hazardous substances once and for all.

“As you know, the Ringwood Superfund Site is a decades old and continued concern for New Jersey residents,” said Garrett in his request to the EPA. “The discovery of an additional toxic substance has increased public concern about the EPA’s decision to approve the plan to cap the site.  New Jersey residents deserve to know that a plan to mitigate hazardous substances in their communities will be successful and will permanently remove the public health threat posed to them.”

The Congressman is also demanding answers from a February 2016 letter where he requested information about groundwater tests when it came to light that they had knowledge of the presence of 1,4-dioxane. To date, the EPA has not responded to these requests.

Congressman Garrett’s Specific Requests from the EPA:

1. Is the EPA reevaluating the decision to cap the site instead of a full cleanup due to the discovery of a new toxic substance and the possibility that other toxic substances may be present?

2. What were the reasons behind approving the plan to cap the site despite the EPA initially supporting a full cleanup?

3. What are the criteria for pursuing the plan to cap the site and does the presence of a new toxic substance affect these criteria?

To read the entire letter, click here.

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Reader says Ridgewood water is nothing but a black hole for money?


April 22,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Bergen Record is reporting that the class action lawsuit trial involving Glen Rock, Wyckoff and Midland Park and the Ridgewood Water utility is delayed through at least mid-June.

Originally scheduled to begin April 5,the dispute was assigned a go ahead trial date following the failure of two mediation attempts earlier this year, held in Ridgewood and presided over by retired Superior Court judge Peter E. Doyne.

As previously reported on this blog the class action by municipal water customers Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff alleges some $3.3 million in past overcharges, and that the Village of Ridgewood improperly comingled water company revenues to other areas of the Ridgewood municipal budget.

Other issues also effect Ridgewood water including onerous EPA regulation, massive up keep in infrastructure , summer water restrictions and water quality issues .

Reader says Ridgewood Water is nothing but a black hole for money;

“Ridgewood water is nothing but a black hole for money. Resident have forgotten all the trouble we resident have had with this utility and that BS the Queen Bee gave us last night about the Ridgewood Water Dept head is just that BS . If you believe her you probably voted for the 3 Amigos and their BS. Ridgewood Water cannot keep up with the new EPA and future regulation. Do you enjoy being on water restriction while your neighboring towns that are not served by Ridgewood Water are not? Do you enjoy getting tickets for violating those restriction? . Prospective Council Candidates talk about shared services with other towns or the county to save money but what to retain control of a failing water system. Ridgewood Water has lost their creditability. Get ride of it or privatize it and that goes for the other black hole our very own Ridgewood Sewerage Plant. Oh wait I guess some residents want to retain control of our sewerage.”