By Larissa Ledo
We had the great opportunity to meet Scott Fallon, an environmental reporter for The Record, as he visited our class. Although he writes and reports about the environment he is not interested in saving the planet, he said, but in bringing awareness about what is going on in our planet. He spoke about many topics, one of them being the chromium issue in Garfield, New Jersey, which many people are not aware of.
According to Scott Fallon’s reporting in The Record and on NorthJersey.com, in 1993 on Clark Street three tons of cancer causing chromium leaked from a tank at the E.C. Electroplating plant. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection showed poor judgment and stopped the clean up after only 30 percent of it had been recovered, despite the evidence that it was migrating throughout the neighborhood.
At the time it was declared no significant threat to the public health, however today is said otherwise. A few months after the spill high levels of chromium were found in E.C.’s basement, and years later in a firehouse a mile away. And now it has progressed in the groundwater to many homes, apartment buildings, and stores. The owner of those homes not only have their health threated but also are unable to sell their homes.
The same problem has occurred with the Superfund site in Ringwood that was declared clean when it was still polluted. The only difference in Garfield is that there is an entire city neighborhood on top of the pollution, which makes it a lot more dangerous and difficult.
Scott Fallon’s visit was very interesting and gave us all an idea of how it is to be an environmental writer. Even though he is not someone who wants to save the planet he still is concerned with what is going on and wants to help his reader know the facts about threats to public health.