Order amid Chaos

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March 2002

The facts and opinions expressed are those of Bruce Anderson

Government Officials should remove all toxic drums on the Ciba Geigy Site
in Toms River, NJ

The EPA (Federal Government) is currently undertaking a partial cleanup of the Ciba Geigy superfund site here in Toms River, New Jersey. Removal of 31,000-35,000 drums of toxic waste are being removed from the drum disposal area. Yet, "37,971 drums" (Approximately 38,000 Drums) of toxic waste are being left in Cell 1 on that site. The EPA response has been that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection governs Cell 1 and there is a liner preventing any potential groundwater contamination.
Drum Disposal Areas Why can't our government agencies work together to remove these toxic drums? Are we really protected as our officials say? First, EPA documents state all liners leak to some degree. Even if they didn't, the toxic chemicals in those drums would attack and degrade the liner. "They discovered that each type of material" (liner material) " they examined was attacked and degraded by the solvents in the chemical leachate; especially leachate from "resin cakes, pit drainings, and solvent cuts." (Unfortunately, these chemicals were later to be routinely buried in Cells One and Two)" "Toluene/Xylene attacks all membranes". The bottom of Cell 1 sits approximately six feet above the water table for the Cohansey Aquifer. This is an environmental time bomb just waiting to happen. A 1980 Administrative order, "concluded that data indicates leakage of liquid through the primary liners of the two cells." The two cells referred to are Cells 1 & 2. In separate testing the actual liner material used in the Cells failed in a leachate test in 65 days.

So are we protected as officials say? From supporting documents, this does not appear to be true and these drums must also be removed from the site.

The public can help by writing letters to the Governor of New Jersey, Senators and Representatives on all levels requesting that action be taken to remove all toxic drums of waste buried on the Ciba Geigy superfund site. Please help support our efforts, for now is the time to take action to remove these additional 38,000 drums.

This link is to the October 2001 cover page with additional information on Cell 1.


I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge our officials that take the time to respond to our concerns, and concerns of the public. First, I would like to thank the Program Manager/Research Scientist for Hazardous Site Health Evaluation Program for re-evaluating the number of pipe breaks on the Ciba Geigy pipe line as reported in the "Case-Control Study of Childhood Cancers in Dover Township (Toms River) NJ."
Second, to the EPA or Ciba's oversight on air monitoring, for making appropriate changes on the air monitoring plan. We have a long way to go and the public is encouraged to attend the public meetings and to have their voices heard.

Why would the Public want a Superfund Site for Open Space?
Toms River, New Jersey

The State of New Jersey has authorized 15 million dollars towards the purchase of the unrestricted or supposedly clean portion of the Ciba Geigy Superfund Site here in Toms River, New Jersey. How do we know that there is no contamination in the unrestricted areas? What is the standard used or arbitrarily set, to say this area is unrestricted? Where is the data to support this?

The map on the left below shows the unrestricted area in grayish color below per the "Record of Decision." The map on the right below is a source area map for the contamination contributing to the ground water plume, also an EPA document. The arrows point to both maps showing the same area, this area is called the "borrower/compactor area." Are we sure what our tax dollars are buying? Under the map is a list of some chemicals found in this area.


The following chemicals have been detected in the Borrow/Compactor Area and are grouped as "Chemicals of Concern", 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichlorobenzene, 2-Chlorotoluene, Chlorobenzene Naphthalene, Nitrobenzene, Tetrachloroethene, and Trichloroethene.

How can our state officials even consider purchasing a superfund site with taxpayers money? Where is the common sense? Yes, it is a large tract of land, but do we want our children playing on it? Let's put this money into Open Space property that our children can use safely today. Open space is a great idea and we support it, but not for a Superfund Site.

This link is to the October 2001 cover page with the larger size map.
Please Conserve Water Use
With Spring and Summer just around the corner please help by conserving our precious water. With lack of precipitation this winter our water resources are low. If we conserve now, maybe we can avoid water restrictions later.

  • Several important meetings are scheduled, for further details look under "Local Events" on the sidebar or click on this link.
  • The previous cover page can be found under "RESOURCES", Previous Month's Cover Pages.