10/20/05 -Material containing hazardous lead paint sludge is treated and removed from Upper Ringwood, a community that is home to the Ramapough Native American tribe.The sludge, which came from an old Ford auto plant, was dumped there decades ago.STORY SUMMARY: A generation ago, the Ford Motor Company churned out six millions cars and trucks at a sprawling assembly plant in Mahwah, NJ. But that remarkable production came at a cost. Before the plant closed in 1980, it generated an ocean of pollution that was dumped mainly in the mountain community of Upper Ringwood, NJ -home to the Ramapough Mountain Indians, and threatens the region’s most important watershed.Begining in 2005, a team of reporters from The Record spent years conducting an investigation of multiple failed cleanups by the E.P.A. and other government agencies that had taken place up to that point, and documenting its impact on the people living amid the waste.
04/24/05 -Old automobile tires and other waste pollute a stream in Upper Ringwood. The water from this stream filers into the Wanaque Reservoir -a major water supply for North Jersey.
09/13/05 -Paul Van Dunk, Sr., at left, with a photo of his daughter Pauline who died of cancer. At right, his next door neighbor and cousin Kelly Degroat clutches a photo of her son Collin, who also died of cancer. The tree behind her is the 'Collin Tree,' planted in his memory. Many in the communitybelieve that the high cancel rate in the community is related to the toxic dumping in theicommunity.
05/17/05 -Portrait of Mickey VanDunk, who has been ravaged by a chronic and debilitating skin condition -hidradenitis suppurativa. He believes his autoimmune condition is related to exposure to the toxic environment. he grew up in in Ringwood.
10/29/05 Sharon Kubiak, a health program specialist for the state, speaks with distrustful and angry Upper Ringwood residents. The state ordered the free health examinations in a mobile health center trailer, but the residents were upset that the exams do not include tests for exposure to lead and other toxins.
A government offical walks over a hardened slab of lead paint sludge, dumped in a watershed area in Upper Ringwood decades ago when the area was used as dumping ground.
04/06/05 -Aerial photo of the watershed area in Upper Ringwood, where the Ford Motor Company dumped toxic lead paint decades ago. The Wanaque Reservoir, seen in the distance, is where all the streams in Upper Ringwood filter into.
06/01/05 -Much of the water in Upper Ringwood appears to contain an oily looking material floating on teh surface. Some of this may be natural forming, yet many believe there are polutants n the water.
06/01/05 -A frog pokes through orange-colored water. This is common in iron-rich regions, but the water also appears to contain an oily looking condition.Some of this may be natural forming, yet many believe there are polutants n the water.
06/23/05 Private consultant Tommy Adams takes a sample of dirt near a chunk of lead paint sludge bulging from the Milligan family's driveway in Upper Ringwood. The soil was later tested and found to contain high levels of toxic materials; including lead and arsenic.
06/23/05 Private consultant Tommy Adams holds up a sample hardened lead paint sludge that was bulging from the Milligan family's driveway in Upper Ringwood. The soil was later tested and found to contain high levels of toxic materials; including lead and arsenic.
06/07/05 Angela Van Dunk with her two young children is concerned about the health risks in her yard -where her young children play. There is a huge chunk of paint sludge is bulging from the dirt in the driveway.
06/07/05 4-year old DeKwan VanDunk looks out the windowonto the yard where he plays, where there is a huge chunk of paint sludge bulging from the dirt in the driveway. It was later tested and found to contain toxic material.
Attorneys for the Ramapoughs in Upper Ringwood listen intently to Joe Gowers of the EPA, as he presents a clean-up plan for Upper Ringwood, a community polluted with toxic material.
04/04/05 Neighborhood leader Wayne Mann, center, listens to DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell,left, and Robert Spiegel of the Edison Wetlands Commission, while touring the dumping sites in Ringwood.
New NJ D.E.P. Commissioner Lisa Jackson is led on a tour of the Upper Ringwood cleanup. The resident and environmental watchdogs were closely monitoring the cleanup, as this site was once a Super-Fund site that the federal government classifyied as clean-up. Nowthe residents are calling for the site to be 're-listed," and cleaned up properly. Jackson later went on to become President Obama's E.P.A. Chief, and championed the Ramapoughs cause.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversee's the clean-up in Upper Ringwood. David Hermartin of Arcadis, the company performing the cleanup, monitors the air for dust and gas every three minutes from various locations around the cleanup work.
Boulders that came in contact with contaminated material are cleaned, marked, and removed from Upper Ringwood. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overseeing the clean-up by Arcadis, the company performing the cleanup for Ford.
Contaminated material is sprayed and will then be removed.
11/01/05 -Environmental technicians remove decades old lead paint sludge embeded in the front yard of Bob Degroat's house in Upper Ringwood. The sludge and soil were removed under supervision of the NJ DEP. The sludge was dumped there decades ago before the house was built.
11/01/05 11/01/05 -Environmental technicians remove decades old lead paint sludge embeded in a front yard and driveway in Upper Ringwood. The sludge and soil were removed under supervision of the NJ DEP. The sludge was dumped there decades ago.
11/01/05 11/01/05 -Environmental technicians watch as decades old lead paint sludge is reoved from a private yard in Upper Ringwood. The sludge and soil were removed under supervision of the NJ DEP. The sludge was dumped there decades ago.
11/01/05 -A piece of excavated material is examined by Ken Petrone of the DEP, Dave Berzins of the DEP, and Rich Chapin of Chapin Consulting, representing the residents in Upper Ringwood.
10/05/05 -Upper Ringwood Community member Daniel Mann takes photos of a truck carrying material from the EPA cleanup site. Many of the residents are upset that the constant passing of heavy trucks has disrupted the community where children play.
10/05/05 -Brett Milligan right, watches a truck passes by. Many of the residents are upset that the constant passing of heavy trucks has disrupted the community and ceated an unsafe environment where children play.
07/27/05 A huge hole suddenly erupted on Roger Degroat 's property. The community was built around an old iron mining operation, with miles of old abandoned tunnels underground. Many believe this sink hole might have been caused by the EPA cleanup, where heavy earth moving trucks have been in operation removing large amounts of contaminated soil, a mere few hundered yards away.
10/20/05 -Roger Degroat waits for a school bus with his daughter Deena and his wife in Upper Ringwood. Many of the residents are upset that the constant passing of heavy trucks has disrupted the community and ceated an unsafe environment for children.
11/01/05 -Clara Milligan learns that her yard contains toxic material that needs to be removed.
10/29/05 -Paul Van Dunk, Sr. takes his grandkids for health screenings, while h remains in the van distrustful of what the exams will be used for. The state ordered the free health examinations, and were conducted by the North Hudson Community Action Corp. in a mobile health center trailer seen in window reflection on right.
01/19/06 -Jock Smith, an attorney with the Johnnie Cochran Firm representing the Ramapoughs, annouces that they are filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Ford and other agencies, at press conference in Upper Ringwood..
01/19/06 Members of the Rampough Mountain Indians, including Roger Degroat at center, listen to their lawyers announce a lasuit they are filing against Ford and other agencies, at press conference in Upper Ringwood..
10/25/05 -Kelly Degroat releases birthday balloons in her backyard, along with family and friends, in memory of her son Collin who died of cancer in 2001.