Passaic River Symposium Seeks Solutions to River Problems

Third symposium brings together key players to discuss the condition of the Passaic River and to work on solutions to the problems.

Photo: Mike Peters

With Kirk Barrett, director of the Passaic River Institute at the podium, panel members (left to right), Congressman Bill Pascrell, Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Tom Cozzi, Site Remediation Manager for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Aniello L. Tortora, the New York District Commander for the US Army Corps of Engineers respond to a question from the audience.

More than 300 educators, scientists, environmentalists, and legislators gathered at Montclair State on October 16 to discuss the state and future of the Passaic River at the Third Passaic River Symposium. Organized by the University’s Passaic River Institute, the symposium provided a forum for discussing projects and addressing the issues surrounding the environmental challenges of the Passaic River.

“This symposium is the best opportunity for those who are concerned about or working on issues concerning the Passaic River to meet, share information and discuss those issues,” said Kirk Barrett, director of the Passaic River Institute and organizer of the symposium. “The future of the Passaic River is a concern to everyone in northern New Jersey, and the Passaic River Institute is working to positively influence that future.”

Featured speakers, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Aniello L. Tortora, the New York District Commander for the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Lisa P. Jackson, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spoke about what is needed and what is being done to clean up the river. Also debated was the topic of who should pay for the cleanup: the federal government or the polluters.

Following the opening remarks and panel discussion, the attendees divided into two groups to better focus on the specific issues pertaining to the upper and lower sections of the river. The symposium concluded with key players in these issues sharing their reaction to what they had heard and discussed throughout the day, and taking questions and comments from the attendees.

See more photos from the symposium.

See news coverage of the symposium from The Record and WMBC TV.

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