August 13, 2008
The Honorable Stephen L. Johnson
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building - 1101A
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
Dear Administrator Johnson:
I am writing to request that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), use its Superfund authority to conduct preliminary tests at four known hotspots along Newtown Creek, in New York City (Attachment A).
Newtown Creek, which borders Brooklyn and Queens, is well known as one of the most polluted industrial waterways in North America, where chemicals from factories along the bed of the Creek have seeped into the soil, sediment and water. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Office of the Attorney General have found evidence that certain hazardous substances regulated under CERCLA have been released at the Newtown Creek site (Attachment B). It is time the federal Superfund program conduct the testing that is necessary to determine whether Newtown Creek should be on placed on the NPL list. As the Chair of the Superfund and Environmental Health Subcommittee and a member of the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works Committee, it is of particular interest to me.
For years, the residents in the vicinity of Newtown Creek have been forced to live, work and play with toxic fumes in the air and contaminated water, soil and sediment on the ground. This exposure has led to community concern about potential pockets of serious illness. Superfund was established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites. The factories responsible for much of the chemical contamination have long since closed and as the cleanup authority of last resort, I see the federal Superfund program as the most effective way to solve this longstanding problem once and for all. The people of Newtown Creek have suffered long enough.
I appreciate your prompt attention and response to this matter.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Curiously, I got this letter from Miss Heather, who has more on the matter.