Riverkeeper Supports EPA’s Proposal to Consider Newtown Creek for Superfund Status

For Immediate Release

Riverkeeper
Contact: 

Ramona Cearley
914-478-4501 x 235
rcearley@riverkeeper.org

Riverkeeper Supports EPA’s Proposal to Consider Newtown Creek for Superfund Status

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. - Riverkeeper
commends the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its announcement
yesterday to propose listing Newtown Creek on the National Priorities
List (NPL) as a potential Superfund site.  Newtown Creek is a tributary
of the Hudson and East Rivers, located between Brooklyn and Queens. 
Decades of industrial pollution and raw sewage overflows have rendered
the Creek one of the most highly polluted waterways in the United
States.  EPA is expected to hold public meetings in Brooklyn in the
coming weeks to explain its proposal and solicit public comment.  The
public is also invited to submit comments in writing to the EPA until
November 23, 2009.   Riverkeeper will review EPA's proposal and submit
formal comments.  

"The EPA's decision to consider listing Newtown Creek as a Superfund
site is the critical next step in the process of addressing a legacy of
environmental contamination that continues to impact Greenpoint
residents and the Creek itself.  Riverkeeper is grateful to
Congresswoman Velazquez and Congressman Weiner for their support on
this issue, and we will actively participate in this process as it
moves forward to ensure that local residents' concerns are addressed,
and a clear plan to clean up the Creek is put in place," said Phillip
Musegaas, Hudson River Program Director for Riverkeeper.

Representative Anthony D. Weiner (D-9TH) said, "Oil companies
continue to lag in their cleanup responsibilities and put the health
and safety of Newtown Creek's residents at further risk. The EPA is
taking action and will hold these companies responsible for their
negligence. Riverkeeper has been a great advocate for cleaning up the
most polluted waterway in New York City."

Riverkeeper began patrolling the Creek in 2002 in support of its
mission to protect the Hudson River and enforce against polluters.  In
2004, Riverkeeper filed a federal lawsuit against Exxon Mobil
Corporation for its failure to stop the pollution of Greenpoint,
Brooklyn and the Creek caused by a historic, 17 million gallon oil
spill which resulted in a plume of contaminated groundwater under
Greenpoint and the Creek.  In 2006, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and
Congressman Anthony Weiner led the effort to secure an independent
study of public health and safety risks caused by the pollution, and
began calling for EPA to consider Newtown Creek for Superfund status.
In 2007, the New York State Attorney General filed a similar suit
against Exxon. 

For more information on the history of Newtown Creek, Riverkeeper's
involvement and the Superfund proposal, please visit our website at www.riverkeeper.org

The EPA's press release announcing its decision can be found at http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/E8D4ACB2C0F7973B8525763A004EF20E

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Riverkeeper is an independent member-supported environmental organization. Riverkeeper's mission is to protect the Hudson River, and its tributaries, and the New York City drinking water supply.

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