|Ramapo College students gather at Ramapo Saltbox Environmental Research Center|
Photo Essay by Eric Christiansen
For my CEC project I investigated some of the sites of the industrial paint sludge pollution left by the Ford Motor Company. This sludge is a major concern of residents about cancer clusters in communities directly exposed to the pollution as well as elevated lead levels in ground and surface water.
|Prof. Chuck Stead handling paint sludge|
Specifically, I visited the pollution surrounding the Ramapo Saltbox Environmental Research Center on Torne Valley Road in Hillburn, NY and the superfund site at Ringwood mines in New Jersey.
|Chips of dried paint sludge|
|Dried paint sludge on forest floor|
Exploring these areas has given me a frame of reference for the toxic legacy of Ford’s pollution. Growing up in this area, I always heard about the dumping and the environmental dangers associated with it, but this class and this field work has expanded my knowledge and put it all into perspective.
|Area where paint sludge is to be removed by Ford|
|Part of forest cut down for paint sludge removal in Torne Valley|
Seeing the paint sludge with my own eyes expanded my understanding of how this pollution affects the immediate environment, local communities, and everyone else.