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Gillibrand wants Wappinger Creek added to Superfund list

May 25, 2016 12:03 am
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged the United States Environmental Protection Agency to add Wappinger Creek in Dutchess County to the Superfund National Priorities List in a letter May 23. The designation would allow for a remedial investigation and feasibility study to proceed, and would make the Dutchess County site eligible for funds to conduct long-term cleanup operations on the creek that was polluted by an industrial park used for textile dyeing, manufactured gas plant operations, metal plating, ammunition production, and chemical manufacturing for 180 years with mercury and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons realesed into the creek. “Adding Wappinger Creek to the Superfund National Priorities List would allow the EPA to take the necessary action to build a comprehensive plan to clean the creek. This designation needs to be expedited to help protect the public health and mitigate the damage done to the environment in Dutchess County,” Gillibrand said in a press release. “In the interim, the EPA should also use the comment period as an opportunity to give the community updates on the current situation, and answer questions regarding public health and safety concerns.”

The full text of the Senator’s letter to the EPA is included below:

The Honorable Gina McCarthy
United States Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator McCarthy,
I write in support of adding Wappinger Creek to the National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites, making it eligible for remediation under the federal Superfund program. This designation would enable the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct long-term cleanups on the creek.

Located in the village of Wappingers Falls and the towns of Poughkeepsie and Wappinger, Wappinger Creek is a popular Dutchess County fishing and recreation location. However, for over 180 years, an industrial park used for textile dyeing, metal plating, chemical manufacturing, gas plant operations and other activities, remained along the creek. These industries contaminated the water and neighboring communities with mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other hazardous waste. While investigations and cleanups have occurred within the industrial park, contamination remains a risk to the water and local community.

Adding Wappinger Creek to the National Priorities List allows the EPA to take action in order to clean the creek, and protect public health and the environment. With this designation, Wappinger Creek would be eligible for comprehensive contamination cleanups in order to mitigate present harm.

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator