JAMES M. O’NEILL / NORTHJERSEY.COM – When Bill Sheehan, the Hackensack Riverkeeper, petitioned federal officials to declare the dangerously contaminated Hackensack River a Superfund site a few years ago, the government agreed to gather hundreds of sediment samples from the river.
The results showed widespread contamination, and bolstered the argument to add the river to the Superfund program, which is designed to clean up the nation’s most polluted sites.
But there was a catch.
The Environmental Protection Agency can’t add a contaminated site to Superfund without a request from the state. And Bob Martin, commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, wouldn’t make the request …