Toxic Secrets: Pollution, evasion and fear in North Jersey

Pompton Lakes, EPA, new jersey

JAMES M. O’NEILL and SCOTT FALLON / NORTHJERSEY.COM – For decades, an underground plume of toxic chemicals — about eight football fields wide and covering 140 acres — has lurked beneath 400 homes in the shadow of a now-shuttered munitions plant in suburban North Jersey.

The groundwater contaminated with cancer-causing solvents migrated from a century-old DuPont facility, nestled in the hills of Pompton Lakes, which produced ammunition that helped America win two world wars.

The solvents, used by DuPont to clean machinery, were dumped with wastewater for decades into four unlined lagoons near the edge of the company’s property. The toxic stew seeped down into the soil and migrated with the groundwater off the company’s site, eventually vaporizing up through the soil into the basements of nearby homes, posing a health risk to residents …

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