Skip to comments.Ramapough environmental activist invited to Washington
Posted on 01/11/2009 3:59:21 PM PST by Coleus
For decades, Vivian Milligan complained that the government ignored the Ramapough Mountain community when Ford Motor Co. dumped a sea of waste in their Upper Ringwood community.
On Wednesday, Milligan, who rarely ventures out of the area, plans to make her first trip to Washington D.C. at age 57 as a guest of former DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson. The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Jackson as administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency. As New Jerseys chief environmental official, Jackson toured the Upper Ringwood Superfund site and urged a faster cleanup of the community and contaminated parkland. Lead-based paint sludge was dumped there 40 years ago, which the Ramapough community blames for causing multiple cases of cancer, asthma and other illness.
The community has sued Ford Motor Co. in what could be the states largest civil environmental litigation. Ford has denied any wrongdoing. She was serious when she told us she would help us, said Milligan. And shes still thinking about us. Jackson called Milligan and community leaders Wayne Mann, Jay Van Dunk and Veronica Van Dunk to personally invite them to the hearing, Milligan said. I told her my heart is pounding. I was so honored. The EPA is overseeing Fords fifth clean-up of the area. With an ally in the top post, Milligan said she has more confidence the remediation will progress as planned. The site of 500-plus acres includes part of Ringwood State Park and a neighborhood of about 400 residents, many of whom belong to the Ramapough Mountain tribe.
The EPA looked the other way for 20 years, said Jeff Tittle, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. Lisa Jackson fought the EPA on their behalf. And now theyll have a friend at the EPA who can really help. Generations of Ramapoughs have called Upper Ringwood home and many families declined to relocate, even after the government has declared the area a public health threat. Tucked in a remote corner of North Jersey just 35 miles from Manhattan is a mix of suburbia and rural life thats hard to envision and even harder to replace. Roosters still crow and ramshackle houses are heated by wood-burning stoves. Many households have pounds of deer meat in the freezer. But there are newer ranches with flat-screen televisions and residents driving shiny SUVs.
Those of Milligans generation see no need to leave the community even for a weekend getaway. A trek to the nations capitol is virtually unheard of. Its a big step for me, Milligan said. My roots are here in Ringwood and I am not a person who likes to travel. I hope nothing prevents me from getting there.
LOL! The money. It's ALWAYS about THE MONEY!
As New Jersey's chief environmental official, Jackson toured the Upper Ringwood Superfund site and urged a faster cleanup of the community and contaminated parkland. Lead-based paint sludge was dumped there 40 years ago, which the Ramapough community blames for causing multiple cases of cancer, asthma and other illness. The community has sued Ford Motor Co. in what could be the stateâs largest civil environmental litigation. Ford has denied any wrongdoing.The Superfund was just a government bailout for Ford. /sarc
The name of those mountains is misspelled. It should be RAMAPO. I don’t know why the authoress decided to add the “ugh,” other than that “Ugh!” might be an appropriate response to this article.
the author named the indian tribe or should I say the so-called indian tribe, not the mountain range.
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