Thursday, February 19, 2015

Toxic Legacy: What's in Our Water?

By Edith Carpio

There have been many negative results from the pollution created by Ford Motor Company’s  former assembly plant in Mahwah, New Jersey. The hazardous paint sludge from the Ford plant contaminated several areas in forests of Northern New Jersey, and created damage to the people, nature, and possibly the regional water supply. The "Toxic Legacy" report by The Record explains the threat that the dumping of hazardous waste caused to the water supply. The biggest question is "is the water clean?"

According to an investigation by Lindy Washburn at The Record, for now the answer is yes. She says, however, that it is hard for anyone to assure the quality of the water supply in the future, no one can guarantee it–not even water companies. The safety of the water supply is threatened by contaminants in neighboring woods and mines, including lead, benzene and other chemicals found in car paints. The town of Ringwood, New Jersey and the reservoirs it hosts are at high risk. But Ford claims that any chemicals found in the streams of Ringwood are not enough to raise a red flag, it is nothing to worry about. But why would the cause of the problem admit to being the problem?

Why it is even acceptable for this to be a problem? This whole water pollution fiasco should have never happened. There is no confidence in the current or future state of our water because there are questions that have never been answered. No one knows exactly how much or where the pollution is in the Northern New Jersey forests. No one knows the exact damage caused by the microscopic contaminants, and when they will start to become a real problem. And lastly, no one knows the way Ringwood's underground system works.
Another problem is that most likely people in northeast New Jersey who drink the water do not know there might be a problem with the water. They aren't aware of the possible things going into their bodies. Their unawareness is part of the problem. If they knew that the current or future state of their water was unsure they wouldn't be okay with drinking it. This would lead to more people taking public action and possibly causing the state to actually do something. The state desperately needs to do something before it is too late. The state should take action now rather than later and clean up the water of any possible chemicals. Taking action years from now would cause the problem to grow bigger and the water would be more hazardous to people's health.
There are still so many unanswered questions that need to be put to rest as soon as possible. The quality of our drinking water should not be something that should be up in the air. I hope that in 20 or 30 years we will not have to open a newspaper or turn on the TV news and hear of the long term effects of drinking contaminated water all these years.

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