Thorium-Tainted Queens Site Deemed Superfund By EPA
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — An industrial area in Ridgewood, Queens that was home to radioactive material has been designated a Superfund site.
As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported Thursday, the site was once home to a company that processed radioactive thorium. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Judith Enck announced Thursday that the site had received the Superfund designation, although the radioactivity is no immediate threat to residents or workers in the area.
Santana Ramirez works in the area.
“I’ve been made to see the danger for the community. It’s a very dangerous situation here,” he said.
Enck explained the dangers of thorium, an unstable element with atomic number 90.
“Thorium is radioactive, and is known to cause cancer of the lungs, pancreas, bones,” Enck said.
Enck said the Superfund designation means the EPA will be working to fix the problem.
“What we will do now is develop a long-term cleanup plan,” she said.
The planning phase for the cleanup will take a couple of years.
The parcel includes an auto repair shop, a deli and other small businesses. A school and a day care center are nearby.
There are two other active federal Superfund sites in New York City — the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn and Newtown Creek on the Brooklyn-Queens boundary. New York state has 87 federal Superfund sites, the third-most in the country, Enck said.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:
- White And Gold, Or Blue And Black? Social Media Explodes Over Dress
- CBS News: Identity Of ‘Jihadi John’ Confirmed By U.S. Intel Official
- Housekeeper Claims She Was Tortured By Queens Couple Over Alleged Theft
- CBS2 Exclusive Video: Botched ATM Theft Caught On Camera
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)