On June 2, 2014, Passaic River Institute (PRI) hosted “Morning Dialogue on the Lower 8 Miles Passaic River Focused Feasibility Study” on Montclair State University campus in response to the newly released cleanup plan issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dredge approximately 4.3 million cubic yards of sediment bank-to-bank and to cap the dredged area with sand and a layer of armoring stone. This plan will also allow for a navigable channel in the 2.2 miles of the River closest to Newark Bay.
The event attracted more than 100 attendees from 49 entities. Congressman Pascrell and experts from EPA, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Passaic River Institute reviewed the history of the Passaic River, proposed dredging and capping plan, alternatives and its associated risks on disposal of contaminated sediments, long term monitoring and maintenance of the sediment cap, future clean up plan for the rest of the Lower Passaic River, and the clean up plan’s potential environmental and public health implications. Representatives from ten cities/townships/counties participated in this event and shared their concerns on the plan’s potential social and economic impacts to communities along the Lower Passaic River and the Newark Bays.
The Lower Passaic River Restoration Project is one of the largest restoration projects in the U.S. history. The project area is situated within the highly developed urban area with approximately 1.4 million residents, which made the project much more complex and its potential impacts much greater.