Chairman Wolfe Tells DEC to Remove All Toxic Paint Sludge Dumped by Ford Motor Company

DEC Unveils Proposal to Remediate Contaminated Site in Hillburn


Rockland County Legislature Chairman Alden H. Wolfe recently presented comments at a public meeting held by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding its proposal to remediate highly toxic paint sludge dumped in Hillburn more than 30 years ago by the Ford Motor Company. The DEC held the meeting at the Suffern Library to inform the public about the remedies to address the contamination from the sludge that was dumped along the Ramapo River and on an expanse of land in Rockland County. Ford operated an auto assembly plant in Mahwah, New Jersey, just south of the county border, from 1955 to plant closure in 1980.

The Hillburn site is the second of three new sites in the Town of Ramapo that Ford was ordered to remediate. The DEC and its consulting firm, Environmental Quality Inc. have reported that a thorough remediation of the first site in the Torne Valley was accomplished.

Chairman Wolfe’s comments (full text follows) included a request that the remediation proposed for the Hillburn site is equally as comprehensive as in the Torne Valley, that the final action plan include the Town of Ramapo as a party to the approval process; that all backfill be fresh and not from a remediated source and that an up-to-date assessment of the Torne Brook flood plain is conducted before the commencement of further remediation.

Chairman Wolfe will submit a detailed written statement to the DEC during the public comment period that runs through March 30, 2014. Members of the public can view the projects documents at the Finkelstein Memorial Library or Hillburn Village Hall. For details on how to submit comments to the DEC, email and use subject key words “Ramapo Paint Sludge site (Hillburn).”

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