Over 25 years ago, nearly 4,000 gallons of hexavalent chromium leaked from the E.C. Electroplating Plant in Garfield, New Jersey. It contaminated the groundwater and seeped into the basements of nearby homes and businesses. Only 1,600 pounds were ever recovered. Still, local residents and business operators thought the chromium leak was a thing of the past. So you can just imagine their outrage to learn that dangerous levels of cancer-causing chromium are still present in the homes and workplaces that make up their community.
In fact, the latest contamination was discovered just last year during a study conducted by Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA tested water, air, and dust samples from 163 homes in the Garfield neighborhood and found that of those, 16 contained harmful levels of chromium.
The EPA is working on clean-up efforts, but Garfield residents are understandably furious. For more than 20 years, they have been living, working, and raising families in homes that are measurably toxic. The EPA will continue to test other homes in the area and will be taking surveys to identify affected homes for testing. The results are expected at some point this fall.