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Ford To Clean Up Toxic Waste From Former Mahwah Plant

Ford Logo (file / credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Ford Logo (file / credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

88adams Sean Adams
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MAHWAH, NJ (WCBS 880) - Toxic paint is the scourge of New Jersey’s industrial past, when the largest auto plant in the United States was right in Mahwah.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

Thirty years ago Ford dumped lead-laden paint sludge just north of there in Rockland County along the Ramapo River.

Now, there’s word Ford will remove ton’s of waste, enough to fill 325 large dump trucks.

The contamination sits over the Ramapo Aquifer, which provides drinking water for Rockland and North Jersey.

United Water‘s Rich Henning says it’s a major victory.

“The whole process is moving. It’s in place. There’s commitment on behalf of Ford and, certainly, the environmental agencies, and it’s about time,” Henning told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “This is a culmination of a lot of agency work, a lot of work on behalf of residents in the area, and certainly on behalf of the county of Rockland.”

Although deep wells have never tested positive for contamination, there’s always been concern that someday they would. A treatment system has been in place for about twenty years.

“The air-stripper is in place basically to strip out what is called volatile organic chemicals and it basically just aerates it and as the chemical meets the air, it dissipates,” said Henning.

It might take some time for Ford to secure all of the necessary permits, but the cleanup of the waste could start this fall.

Sharp Plaza - Mahwah, NJ (file / credit: Sharp)

Sharp Plaza - Mahwah, NJ (file / credit: Sharp)

The site of the actual assembly plant is now Sharp’s North American corporate headquarters.