Order amid Chaos

April 2001

This cover page is updated monthly

Government Agencies have failed to protect the citizens of Toms River, New Jersey in the past and the question remains are we being protected today?

With the release of the final version of the Public Health Assessments on Reich Farm, Ciba Geigy, and Health Consultation on Water Quality, why aren't our questions being answered truthfully and with current information?

Reich Farm remediation

The release of the Final Version of the Public Health Assessment for Toms River, New Jersey, one has to wonder why the corporate polluters are being protected and who will protect the public. First, the public should understand that the State of New Jersey assumed all future responsibility for Reich Farm ( by agreement between the State of New Jersey and Union Carbide) for an amount somewhere between $30,000.00 to $60,000.00.

Health officials failed to protect the public in the mid 1970's when water filters were first requested on our public drinking wells. In the 1980's air strippers were placed on some of the public drinking wells to remove contamination and we, the public, were assured our drinking water was safe. But in the mid 1990's it was determined that certain chemicals were still getting through the air stripping process, so carbon filters had to be installed to protect the public. Today only certain wells have filtration. Throughout this time period we have been told our water meets all state and federal drinking water requirements. This is true because only approximately 83 chemicals are sampled, out of thousands possible. This is an outdated generic test done in all parts of the state. This is a theme that is repeated in the health assessments and in a lot of the studies being performed here. Everything is "safe" and meets all state and federal requirements. Any data can meet these standards if sampling is performed, incorrectly, in areas of low impact, for limited perimeters of concern, and using outdated or old data, you will never find anything of value.

What are our government officials trying to hide
from the public?

We understand mistakes have been made by government officials in reference to the Superfund sites here in Toms River, New Jersey. For example, failure to monitor off site air quality during the incineration of chemicals on Reich Farm. There will be more information about this on a future web page. Also the failure to foresee the impact of dumping the contents of Ciba Geigy Landfill Cell 2 and Cell 3 waste water treatment sludge on top of Cell 1 and the potential impact on Cell 1 liner integrity. Another example is allowing heavy trucks to traverse a closed landfill.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has asked that we direct all questions on Cell 1 at the Ciba Geigy superfund site to New Jersey State agencies. Below was a question asked in the Health Assessment and the response.

Question: "Why is the number of drums being underestimated? Why isn't Cell 1 part of the remediation of the Ciba site? What guarantees do we have that there are no liquids or hazardous waste in this cell"

Response : The most recent estimate provided to the NJDHSS and the ATSDR by the USEPA is that there are a total of 31,000 intact and non-intact drums on the site. Questions regarding the delineation and remediation of the site should be addressed to the USEPA.

Wait a minute; wouldn't you expect the truth from government officials? The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us to check with the State government and the State government replies by saying check with the EPA. Cell 1 is regulated by the State of New Jersey and they should know how many drums are in Cell 1 and why this Cell is not a part of any cleanup. What are our government officials trying to hide from the public? Maybe the fact there are at least 73,000 drums still left on the Ciba Geigy Superfund site and only 31,000 drums will be cleaned up due to failure of our officials to work together. There are so many documents supporting the number of drums actually on the site, unless you were completely incompetent this is a relatively easy question for a state official or is this another government cover up?

We are still awaiting a public meeting by the State of New Jersey on the renewal permit for these landfill cells on the Ciba Geigy Superfund Site.

The next question relies on data from 8 to 10 years ago, an example of how important the welfare and safety of the public is when using a public park. Instead of using available data, someone should get out from behind their desk and get current data!

Question: "You still have potential contact with the plume in Winding River Park as the plume makes its way to the surface within the park."

Response: The draft Public Health Assessment addresses the issue of Winding River Park on pages 6 and 14. The ATSDR evaluated available data regarding contamination in the Winding River Park area and found it not to constitute a threat to the public health (cited as ATSDR, 1991a in the Public Health Assessment.) The final version of the Public Health Assessment will include an expanded discussion of surface water and sediment contamination data for the marshland portion of the park. Further details of the characterization of the Winding River Park are given in the documents cited in the Public Health Assessment.

The document itself addresses this issue further!

Although sediments and surface water of the marshland in Winding River Park exhibited site-related contamination, this pathway was not considered by the ATSDR to be of public health significance because exposures to marsh air, sediments, and water would tend to be infrequent and short duration. (ATSDR, 1991a CDM, 1993b).

Maybe this explains why this public park has not been maintained in years?
If the public were not encouraged to use the park, exposure would be of short duration.

Winding River Park

These two pictures of park benches are just a few examples of how
this public park is maintained.

Winding River Park

We would hope, truthful, professional quality work will be performed on all ongoing studies, to protect the welfare and safety of all citizens, young and old.

Family Story Section Update

We have added another heart wrenching family story to the TEACH web site. "Our story is a unique one, as we have a Granddaughter from our daughter that passed away from cancer (follicle lymphoma)."
  • Please use this link to take you to this special family story.

  • The April public meeting on the Citizen Action Committee on Childhood Cancer Cluster has been cancelled.

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