NEWARK — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday its $1.4 billion plan to clean up the most polluted portion of the Passaic River, an area made so unhealthy from corporate dumping that people are forbidden from eating the carcinogenic fish and crabs that come from it.
Friday's announcement of the project, which may generate over 500 jobs and which officials said will not be paid for by taxpayers, was tempered by criticism from the Sierra Club, and righteous anger from former U.S. Senator Cory Booker over what corporations did to the river and Newark in the first place.
Also, EPA officials cautioned, this project to clean up the lower eight miles of the river, will take over 11 years, and even then the fish won't immediately be safe to consume.
And, while the plan calls for the cleanup to be paid for by the 100 companies responsible for polluting the river with an array of chemicals, those companies have not yet signed up to do this, they said.