Streams

Underreported: Jersey City Hexavalent Chromium

Thursday, April 09, 2009

In the 1982 the State of New Jersey began investigating the presence of the dangerous chemical hexavalent chromium on a 16-acre site in Jersey City. Today, the site remains contaminated. We’ll talk to Nancy S. Marks, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, about why it’s taken so long to clean up the site and why the NRDC filed a new lawsuit in February to enforce the clean-up effort.

Guests:

Nancy S. Marks

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Comments [7]

blahblah@blah.com from not the bronx

Isnt this the same contaminant subject of "Erin Brocovitch"?

Aug. 06 2009 09:10 PM
Jon Whiten from Jersey City

Stacey-
I have been doing some in-depth reporting on the issue for The Jersey City Independent. A good place to start might be here:
http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2009/03/20/despite-settlement-chromium-concerns-and-lawsuits-continue/

Apr. 12 2009 09:10 AM
Dave Wichern from The Bronx, NY, USA

After viewing NRDC's website, and reading their legal complaint, I have to say that it does look like a serious public health issue.

Hexavalent chromium is present at percent levels in the surface soil. They took one sample that was almost 5% by weight hexchrome. That's some serious toxic waste.

They are also stating that hex chrome is turning up in resident's homes, nearby schools, and in urine samples taken from community residents. Unfortunately, they don't give any numbers.

I do hope that they can work something out. These situations have a way of degenerating into legal Mexican standoffs, that drag through the courts for years with lawyers arguing, while nothing is done to solve the problem.

If someone made me Dictator of New Jersey for a day, I'd have them apply a good thick layer of ferrous sulfate over the surface contamination, wet it down with a bit of water, cover it with sand, then blacktop the whole mess. Not a permanent solution by any means, but it would stop virtually all the airborne contamination they're seeing, and prevent a lot of people from getting sick.

Then, let the attorneys argue till 2019.

Apr. 10 2009 11:54 AM
Dave Wichern from The Bronx, NY, USA

Is there any danger? Probably not, if we are talking groundwater contamination. I doubt if anyone is sinking drinking water wells in urban Jersey.

Chromium picolinate in a nutritional supplement is trivalent chromium. Same element, different oxidation state. Kind of like chlorine and chloride. The one is a noxious, toxic gas - the other you put on your food.

Apr. 09 2009 05:30 PM
Stacey from nyc-Jersey City

I am moving to Jersey City this summer and would love to learn more about this toxic site - where can I read more information on it? I missed most of this segment...

Apr. 09 2009 01:58 PM
Rich from Union City

How does hexavalent chromium compare to chromium picolinate, which is sold as a dietary supplement?

Apr. 09 2009 01:42 PM
John from Brooklyn

I work in Jersey City in the Newport complex. Are we near the contaminated site? Am I and my colleagues in any danger?

Apr. 09 2009 01:41 PM

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