Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to add Wappinger Creek in Dutchess County to the Superfund National Priorities List. Authorization of the designation would allow for the 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. In Gillibrand’s letter to the Administrator of the EPA, explained that while investigations and cleanups have occurred within the industrial park, contamination still remains a risk to the water and public health of the community.
The contamination of Wappinger Creek occurred as a result of an industrial park used for textile dyeing, manufactured gas plant operations, metal plating, ammunition production, chemical manufacturing for 180 years. There have been leaks of hazardous waste including mercury and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons into the creek from those manufacturing activities.
“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,” said Senator Gillibrand a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “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 EPA’s 60-day public comment period is set to end in June.
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.
United States Senator