HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – An environmental group in northern New Jersey is leading a charge to get the feds to take over the cleanup of a dirty river.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, the Hackensack River is described as a resource, whether for birds, canoers or occasional boaters.

“But the resource is still damaged from the years and years and years before they started getting around to cleaning up any of these sites,” Hackensack Riverkeeper Captain Bill Sheehan said.

Sheehan petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to see if the old industrial dump full of toxins, like DDT and chromium, should be declared a federal superfund site from Oradell down to Newark Bay.

“To get this river cleaned up for once and for all, give it back to the people it belongs to in a condition that they can actually go and enjoy it,” Sheehan said.

The EPA now has a year to assess the case.

There are already five superfund sites along the Hackensack or its tributaries.