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Order amid Chaos

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November 1999



EPA Informal Meeting on
the Ciba Cleanup Options


It is amazing how the USEPA still says it wants to work with citizens groups in Toms River on the cleanup of the Ciba site. We have said that we have major concerns with the use of thermal desorption/incinerators, yet at last Wednesday’s (11/10/99) informal Public EPA meeting there appeared to be a major push for the use of this technology, which has had problems elsewhere. Other citizens groups have warned us this would occur and unfortunately the EPA is living up to its past practice.

Looking at the material presented, the USEPA is following its guidelines to deceive the unsuspecting public. First, lets look at the terminology used on some of the charts. Take the word "thermal treatment," which appeared under several options presented. EPA documents suggest this term and I quote, "For example, the language in the ROD for one site stated that "thermal treatment" was the remedy, thus allowing either thermal desorption or incineration."
ROD stands for Record of Decision, which is the final document that determines the cleanup of a site.

Second, the term "thermal desorption," the USEPA stresses this term at public meetings to confuse the issue with incinerators. Again quoting EPA literature, "Direct-fired thermal desorbers operating at high temperatures and thermal desorbers equipped with afterburners (or other types of oxidizers) also are considered to be incinerators,"..

Further, "Public acceptance of thermal desorption may be adversely affected by confusion with incineration technologies, which do not enjoy public confidence."

The EPA has presented thermal desorption at several meetings and now at this informal meeting, why so much coverage on one topic? Selling this idea over and over to the unsuspecting public is one way to get it to pass. And I quote, "The focus and level of community interest varies at each site. Community relations effects should begin early, include risk communication in nontechnical terms, and afford numerous opportunities for the public to view the process".

Let’s not repeat what has happened on "Reich Farm" again. At the next USEPA meeting ask for the air samples from the thermal desorption /incinerator that was used at that site.

There are none? Why?

How does the EPA know what went out that stack and into the air in our community from that site, yet they keeping saying it is safe. It is safe, trust us the EPA says.

  • Ask the people in Lockhaven, PA how safe it was to burn chemicals in their back yard. To read the story click here.

    Please attend the next EPA meeting,
  • write letters to your U.S. Senators (click here)
    and let your voice be heard!


  • When will officials acknowledge the Cancer Cluster here in Toms River, NJ?

    Mayor Fox of Toms River (Dover Township) recently said at a candidate's forum that he did not know whether a childhood cancer cluster exists in Dover Township. At the same time, why didn't Mr. Aldrich who is a member of the township council and attends the Citizen's Action Committee on Childhood Cancer Cluster meetings on a regular basis, correct him? How effective can anyone in public office be, not knowing what is occurring in his town? Township officials have met with State officials on the Cancer Cluster and it's been in many newspapers, and on TV News broadcasts. Many officials like the Mayor and others do not want to acknowledge the Cancer Cluster for fear of hurting the town's public image, but instead they are hurting children being diagnosed with cancer.

    It is about time officials took this seriously.

  • Please read the two newspaper articles
    on the Mayor's remarks. Oct 28 & 29 1999)


  • Update! Radio Station B98.5 raised over $50,000.00 for Ocean of Love in their billboard fundraiser. Ocean of Love is an organization that helps children with cancer and their families in the Toms River area.
    Ocean of Love can be contacted at OceanoLove@aol.com
    B98.5 Fundraiser


  • Take our new visitors poll, click here.


  • The annual United Water Toms River Consumer Confidence Report on the drinking water was recently mailed to consumers.

    Lets take a close look at what some of this report tells us,


    Water Quality Table

    During 1998 your water met or surpassed all standards for safety.

    The water quality of your drinking water compares to the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), as outlined in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

    SDWA Primary Standards Continued
    (Directly related to the safety of your drinking water)

    Inorganic Chemicals

    Substance
    Type and Name

    EPA
    MCLG

    EPA
    MCL

    UWTR
    Highest

    UWTR
    Range

    Likely
    Source

    Fluoride ppm

    4

    4

    0.2

    ND to 0.2

    Natural
    deposits

    Nickel
    ppb

    100

    100

    7

    ND to 7

    Natural
    deposits

    Nitrate
    ppm

    10

    10

    0.8

    ND to 0.8

    Natural
    deposits

    Thallium
    ppb

    0.5

    2

    1

    ND to 1

    Industrial
    discharges



    Our standards for drinking water are totally inadequate to say the least. Out of the thousands of chemicals produced, we are only required to sample for eighty seven in our drinking water, even if other chemicals were dumped near the water source.
    These inorganic chemicals are sampled at the point of entry to the United Water system.

    ....Radionuclides:

    Substance
    Type and Name

    EPA
    MCLG

    EPA
    MCL

    UWTR
    Highest

    UWTR
    Range

    Likely
    Source

    Alpha emitters
    pCi/L

    0

    15

    10

    6 to 10

    Natural
    deposits

    Radon
    pCi/L

    none

    none

    160

    N/A

    Natural
    deposits



    Radionuclides are sampled downstream of the well heads. This is called blending. The water from several wells dilute the over all concentration, so the radioactivity is reduced. Concerns have been raised over this sampling method. Higher concentrations have been reported at some well heads. We are still awaiting an answer ( 4 months ) from health officials as to what wells in the Toms River water system have higher radiation readings than well #20.

    ...Volatile:

    Substance
    Type and Name

    EPA
    MCLG

    EPA
    MCL

    NJ
    Standard

    UWTR
    Highest

    UWTR
    Range

    Likely
    Source

    TTHMs ppb

    0

    100

    100

    7.5

    ND to 7.5

    Treatment
    byproduct



    TTHMS are byproducts of the chemical disinfection of drinking water. This sample is taken at the furthest point in the system, somewhere in the area of Green Island, Toms River.

    Lead and copper:

    Substance
    Type and Name

    EPA
    MCLG

    EPA
    MCL

    90th
    Percentile

    Samples
    Above AL

    Likely
    Source

    Lead ppb

    0

    15

    3

    0 to 10

    Household
    plumbing

    Copper
    ppm

    1.3

    1.3

    0.2

    0

    Household
    plumbing



    This sample is taken at several homes that have been recently constructed, thus the "likely source", household plumbing. It is questionable how sampling several homes could be representative of the Township's drinking water.


    The water report continues on listing the chemicals below.
    But, no samples of these chemicals were required to be taken by the NJ DEP for this report. The reason given is that testing was done in the 1980's-1990's for these chemicals. One has to question, how well is the State DEP protecting the citizens, with all the chemical pollution, housing development (pesticides/herbicides), and the incineration of chemicals which took place on Reich Farm? How can they not require sampling for these chemicals?

    Water Quality Table Continued

    Organic Chemicals (pesticides, polyaromatic, hydrocarbons, not detected)
    3-hydroxycarbofuran, alachlor , aldicarb, aldicarb sulfone, aldicarb sulfoxide, aldrin , anthracene, PCB - aroclor-1016, PCB - aroclor-1221, PCB - aroclor-1232, PCB - aroclor-1242, PCB - aroclor-1248, PCB - aroclor-1254, PCB - aroclor-1260, atrazine, benzo(a)pyrene, butachlor, carbaryl, carbofuran, chlordane, di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate), di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, dieldrin, diquat, endrin, ethylene dibromide, glyphosate, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclopentadiene, lindane, metalochlor, methomyl, methoxychlor, metribuzin oxamyl, propachlor, simazine, toxaphene.

    Organic Chemicals (herbicides, not detected):
    2,4-D, 2,4,5-TP, dalapon, dicamba, dinoseb, pentachlorophenol, picloram, dioxin

  • The next public meeting on the Citizen Action Committee on Childhood Cancer Cluster is November 15, 1999 at 7:00 pm.. For further details look under "How to Help"




  • The previous cover page can be found under "RESOURCES", Previous Month's Cover Pages.