Close

Not a member yet?Register now and get started.

lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Finding the bottom of a polluted field

Finding the bottom of a polluted field

Sunday, February 5, 2006
New York Times

Just past the old municipal incinerator, near the car lots, strip malls and fast-food joints heaped on this city's far west side, a long fence juts into the shoulder of busy Route 440. Most drivers whiz by without knowing that on the other side of the fence lies one of the nation's biggest hazardous waste sites, one that spurred an environmental battle so contentious that it has dragged on for a generation.

The forlorn stretch of fallow land -- an area the size of 34 football fields -- is a casualty of Jersey City's industrial past, poisoned by a half-century's worth of residues from the processing of chromium, the versatile substance used in paints, stainless steel and automobile bumpers. In its most dangerous form -- called hexavalent chromium -- the wastes can cause cancer and other health problems...