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Riverkeeper Commends EPA Decision for Comprehensive Superfund Cleanup of Toxic Newtown Creek

Newtown Creek

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Contact:Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 516-526-9371

Tarrytown, NY – September 27, 2010 – Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate, today commended the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to list Brooklyn’s toxic Newtown Creek on the Superfund National Priorities List. The decision to list the Creek will begin a comprehensive effort by the federal EPA to remove more than a century’s worth of contamination from the Creek’s murky bottom and to address sites along its banks that continue to leach pollution into the waterway.

“EPA’s decision marks a turning point in Riverkeeper’s eight-year campaign to protect and restore Newtown Creek, and a critical step towards achieving the goal of a” fishable, swimmable Hudson River,” stated Phillip Musegaas, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director. “We are committed to ensuring that EPA makes it a priority to involve local residents and business owners throughout the Superfund cleanup process.”
Riverkeeper has been a vocal advocate for a Superfund cleanup for Newtown Creek since the EPA announced that it was considering the Canal for the federal Superfund program in December, 2009. Riverkeeper has been active on Newtown Creek since 2002, when its first boat patrol discovered oil seeps, abandoned cars and floating garbage littering the Creek. Riverkeeper also helped found the Newtown Creek Alliance, a coalition of elected officials,local residents, business owners and other non-profit organizations working to improve the Creek and adjoining neighborhoods. Over the past eight years, Riverkeeper has also established itself as the leading pollution enforcer on the Creek, exemplified by its citizen suits against oil companies, cement manufacturers and other polluters.

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