EPA Adds the Riverside Industrial Park in Newark, New Jersey to the Superfund List; Seven Acre Site along the Passaic River Contaminated with PCBs and Volatile Organic Compounds
Release Date: 05/21/2013
(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the Riverside Industrial Park in Newark, New Jersey to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. After a 2009 spill of oily material from the industrial park into the Passaic River, the EPA discovered that chemicals, including benzene, mercury, chromium and arsenic, were improperly stored at the site. The agency took emergency actions to prevent further release of these chemicals into the river. Further investigation showed that soil, ground water and tanks at the Riverside Industrial Park are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Benzene, mercury, chromium and arsenic are all highly toxic and can cause serious damage to people’s health and the environment. Many volatile organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals and can cause cancer in people. Polychlorinated biphenyls are chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing.
EPA proposed the site to the Superfund list in September 2012 and encouraged the public to comment during a 60-day public comment period. After considering public comments and receiving the support of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for listing the site, the EPA is putting it on the Superfund list.
“The EPA has kept people out of immediate danger from this contaminated industrial park and can now develop long-term plans to protect the community,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By adding the site to the Superfund list, the EPA can do the extensive investigation needed to determine the best ways to clean up the contamination and protect public health.”
Since the early 1900s, the Riverside Industrial Park, at 29 Riverside Avenue in Newark, has been used by many businesses, including a paint manufacturer, a packaging company and a chemical warehouse. The site covers approximately seven acres and contains a variety of industrial buildings, some of which are vacant. In 2009, at the request of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the EPA responded to an oil spill on the Passaic River that was eventually traced to the Riverside Avenue site. The state and the city of Newark requested the EPA’s help in assessing the contamination at the site and performing emergency actions to identify and stop the source of the spill.
The EPA plugged discharge pipes from several buildings and two tanks that were identified as the source of the contamination. In its initial assessment of the site, the EPA also found ten abandoned 12,000 to 15,000 gallon underground storage tanks containing hazardous waste, approximately one hundred 3,000 to 10,000 gallon aboveground storage tanks, two tanks containing oily waste, as well as dozens of 55-gallon drums and smaller containers. These containers held a variety of hazardous industrial waste and solvents. Two underground tanks and most of the other containers were removed by the EPA in 2012.
The EPA periodically proposes sites to the Superfund list and, after responding to public comments, designates them as final Superfund sites. The Superfund final designation makes them eligible for funds to conduct long-term cleanups.
The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanups, rather than passing the costs to taxpayers. After sites are placed on the Superfund list of the most contaminated waste sites, the EPA searches for parties responsible for the contamination and holds them accountable for the costs of investigations and cleanups. The search for the parties responsible for the contamination at the Riverside Industrial Park site is ongoing.
For more information about Superfund, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund.
People are now taking steps to treat hard water with clever water softening solutions.
Water hardness is something that a lot of people understand in basic terms, though often do not see its benefits, or drawbacks, past the obvious issues that regularly crop up. It is commonly believed that calcium and magnesium are nutritionally valuable, though both are a menace to household appliances — notably dishwashers and heaters, which can clog up with limescale.
As a result of these problems, people are now taking steps to treat hard water with clever water softening solutions. Interestingly, a lot of these individuals are starting to see many more benefits past the simple fact that their kettles work for much longer. Starting with the science behind this point, we discuss the many ways that soft water may meet your customers' needs.
Reduction in service
Limescale elimination is potentially needed in all water-based appliances including central heating systems, hot water pipes, washing machines, dishwashers, coffee pots, shower heads and many more. The treatment of limescale goes back over thousands of years, but the first residential water softener was installed just over a hundred years ago. While it can form on both the cold and water side of a plumbing system, it most prevalently forms in and on the hottest parts of water heating appliances, as well as places where water pressure can suddenly drop, such as taps and shower heads. It is caused by the decomposition of soluble and temporary hardness — largely calcium and magnesium bicarbonate — to insoluble limescale, also commonly known as calcium carbonate (CaCo3).
Water softeners use a process called ion exchange to remove calcium as well as other hardness minerals such as magnesium. The hardness minerals are usually replaced with a highly soluble sodium or potassium ion, which will not cause scale buildup in a plumbing system.
A study at Battelle Memorial Institute discovered that all appliances in the trial would often demand extensive cleaning. For example, instantaneous gas water-heaters on hard water blocked completely nine times during the 15-year simulation. Given the expense of such systems, particularly in industrial applications, changing to soft water could be very beneficial indeed.
Lower energy consumption, carbon emissions and fuel costs
Have you ever taken a shower and found that you have to slowly increase the temperature to match the desired heat? Do you have to wait a long time for a hot tap to do its job? A contributing factor to this problem may be that limescale has a thermal conductivity that is 400 times lower than copper and 100 times lower than steel and so extra time is taken to heat water to the required temperature.
A New Mexico State University study tested 12 second-hand gas and electric water heaters from homes in the locale. Half were provided with hot water, while the rest were fitted with water softeners. The researchers found that energy usage by gas water heaters was 23.8 percent lower with water softeners and 17.8 percent for electric water heaters with the same technology.
Reduction in the use of soap, shampoo and detergent
One of the many things people often do not realize is how the use of soap or detergent in hard water is a lot less efficient. This is because cleaning products need to react with hardness ions present in the water and precipitate them as scum before it can do its duty. Of course, the harder the water is, the more work your soap or detergent needs to do.
This was backed by a Scientific Services Study, which looked into the effects of water hardness and detergent dose — as well as temperatures in regards to stain removal — by washing machines, dishwashers and other similar products. It concluded that a water softening procedure, once put in place, would dramatically improve the efficacy of these appliances. Stain removal efficacy in washing machines was rather amazingly found to be better with softened water, at the lowest temperature and detergent dosage, than hard water at the highest temperature and detergent dose.
Further, consumer concerns are usually higher in hard water areas, lacking more common praise for the softness of hair and the loss of problematic skin conditions that is found in areas using softer water. Epidemiological studies in Japan, the UK and Spain particularly address how the incidence rate of eczema can be directly related to the hardness of a water supply. This is widely believed to be due to the impact of residual soap scum on hair and skin after washing as well as its effects on bedding and clothing after washing.
Calcium carbonate has an extremely low solubility in water, though water softeners can offer a particularly positive effect on already-clogged pipes, appliances and boilers: The dissolution of existing scale. A number of tests have discovered that all existing scale can be removed from a home or business in as little as several months, while kettles only need a standard boiling schedule over six weeks to get back up to speed.
Detergent scum is a major problem for clothing's longevity after it deposits itself in between the fibers of clothes and laundry during a typical washing cycle. There is also an increase in the rate of abrasion between fibers during the regular use under these circumstances. The negative effects of hard water were flagged in a YMCA laundry study, which addressed the life of a huge range of hotel laundry, including bed linen, towels, table cloths, cushion covers and so on. Measuring their outcomes over a five-year period, hard water and softened water were compared and it was safely concluded that all forms of laundry had an increase in lifespan, from the lowest number of 10 percent for dish towels, up to 39 percent for pillow slips.
This article was supplied by Harvey Water Softeners, one of the UK's leading providers of water softening solutions. The company also works to provide people with the benefits of technology that offer great quality water without the drawbacks of limescale and other impurities that can have detrimental effects on health, appliances and personal budgets.
Report that 20% of state's wells face high arsenic points to Final Barrier
USGS study signals need for well owners to test, protect water
Lisle, Illinois - A report released last week by the US Geological Survey showing that one in five private wells in Pennsylvania face elevated arsenic levels offers powerful incentive to test and ensure treatment, according to the Water Quality Association.
"There is hardly any issue more important than clean and healthy water, and this study sends a signal to well owners that they must empower themselves with testing and treatment," said Dave Haataja, executive director of WQA.
According to the USGS, "Eight percent of more than 5,000 wells tested across Pennsylvania contain groundwater with levels of arsenic at or above federal standards set for public drinking water, while an additional 12 percent - though not exceeding standards - show elevated levels."
The results highlight the importance of private well owners "testing and potentially treating their water," the USGS stated. While public water supplies are treated to ensure that water reaching the tap of households meets federal drinking water standards, private wells are unregulated in Pennsylvania, and owners are responsible for testing and treating their own water, the agency noted.
Arsenic is potentially a very harmful and even fatal contaminant that can cause damage with immediate consumption or over the long term. Treatment options include reverse osmosis systems, specialty media, and distillation systems.
How do you know the products will work? The first step is to talk with a water professional. The second step is selecting a product that is tested and certified.
The association offers certification for trained professionals to help give consumers confidence about the knowledge and ethical standards of local dealers, who can be found through "Find A Water Professional" at wqa.org.
The seal on a product means it has been tested and certified for effectiveness. WQA uses independent standards established by the NSF International/American National Standards Institute (NSF/ANSI). Products that have passed testing can be found at wqa.org.
For more information or to find locally certified water professionals and Gold Seal certified products, visit wqa.org.
Dedicated to consumer education and public awareness, the Water Quality Association is a not-for-profit trade group of businesses that provide treatment solutions for safe, clean water throughout the world - in homes, schools, commercial and industrial settings, and more. WQA promotes best practices for superior products and environmental sustainability with the guidance of respected, independent standards. Its labs conduct rigorous testing and certification, and training programs promote professionalism and ethics. Learn more: wqa.org
TRENTON — Nearly three weeks after two officials at the East Orange Water Commission were indicted on charges they conspired to hide elevated levels of an industrial solvent in drinking water, the state environmental officials today announced more than $400,000 in fines against the utility. The Department of Environmental Protection claims the commission “manipulated” samples and test results so it appeared the water had fewer contaminants than it really did. The water was pumped to more than 80,000 residents in East Orange and South Orange, though the state says no one was put at risk of illness. “We have a high standard of accountability in this state when it comes to the safety and reliability of drinking water,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in a statement. “It is imperative that water providers maintain and provide to us accurate records of water system operations. Any deviation from those standards is a violation of the public trust.”
LISLE, Ill. — Following an official report that the water supply of more than half of all Californians begins contaminated, residents are reminded that they can find treatment products that have undergone independent testing for effectiveness, according to a press release.
“Nothing is more basic than clean and safe water,” said Dave Haataja, executive director of the Water Quality Association. “With final barrier protection in the home, residents can feel assured that the water they are drinking has gone through rigorous treatment.”
The Associated Press reported that “more than half of California’s population relies on a drinking water supply contaminated by arsenic, nitrates and other contaminants, though most communities blend or treat their water to make it safe.” The information comes from a new report by the State Water Resources Control Board, stated the release.
Arsenic was the most-detected naturally occurring contaminant, while nitrate was the human-caused contaminant detected the most, noted the release.
“With so much water contaminated at its supply source, people are going to feel more than ever the need for final treatment at the tap,” said Haataja. “We have dedicated our resources to stringent testing overseen by outside professionals to help ensure consumers are getting what they expect.”
WQA tests and certifies products for effectiveness. The association uses independent standards established by the NSF International/American National Standards Institute (NSF/ANSI). Products that have passed testing can be found at wqa.org.