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Monday, March 14, 2022

聯邦環保署指定下Neponset 河為超級基金地點

            (Boston Orange 周菊子波士頓綜合報導) 聯邦環境保護署 (EPA) (14) 早和麻州聯邦及州市政要聯袂宣佈,跨越波士頓市、米爾頓鎮(Milton)的3.7英里"下Neponset河"獲選列入所謂"超級經費地點 (Superfund Site)” ,將有機會藉聯邦政府的無黨派基礎建設法35億元經費,清理河流,消滅汙染。

             聯邦環境保護署新英格蘭辦公室新任主管David Cash表示,麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)政府在2015年向該署提出,把"下Neponset河"列入"超級經費"優先處理名單,經各方努力多年後,該署現已通過這一申請。

             David Cash今日和聯邦參議員Elizabeth Warren,聯邦眾議員Steven LynchAyana Pressley,波士頓市長吳弭(Michelle Wu),米爾頓鎮議會主席Kathleen Conlon等人,一起到位於麥特潘(Mattapan)的雷恩遊樂場(Ryan Playground)宣佈這喜訊。

             Neponset河分水嶺協會主任 Ian CookeEdgewater鄰里協會主席Vivian Morris等人都說,非常期待Neponset河的能夠早日清除各種廢棄垃圾,水質汙染,恢復早年河水清澈可游,河魚可釣可食的美好日子。

             根據聯邦環保署網站上資訊,麻州共有41個地點曾被列為"超級經費地點","下Neponset河"是唯一座落在波士頓市和米爾頓鎮的地點。從美國國會於1980年代通過人們暱稱為"超級經費"的"綜合環境因應、補償及責任法 (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act,簡稱 CERCLA) 通過以來,全美迄今共有1883個地點被選為"超級經費地點"。

             CERCLA

法允許聯邦環保署清理被汙染了的地方,同時強迫造成汙染者清理污染,或付費給政府,由環保署來率領清理工作,期以保護人類的健康,以及地方環境的安全。

             由於清理環境汙染,耗時費力,迄今環保署仍有49個已列入"超級經費地點"的項目,未能獲得足夠經費,完成清理任務,今日出席的所有聯邦及州市政要興奮指出,基礎建設法的35億元,將可為必要的污染清理提供經費。聯邦環保署同意把"下Neponset河"列入"超級經費地點",意味著包括經費,科學專業,法律力量等數以百萬、千萬元計的大量聯邦資源將跟著湧來。

             Neponset河一帶在1930年代有許多磨坊,工廠,藉水力發電,在生產製造過程中產生致癌副產品的廢棄物,讓河魚毒不可食,河底沉澱多氯聯苯(polychlorinated biphenyls)。

           根據美國地質局調查,在3.7英里Neponset河中有多氯聯苯,但美國從1929年起,在生產製造電子設備,液壓油,潤滑劑等商品時,大量應用多氯聯苯,直到1979年才明令禁止使用

                  

波士頓環球報指出,大約15年前,Thomas & Betts公司經麻州政府檢舉,在Neponset和造成有毒沉澱物,其後麻州政府發現這些沉澱物蔓延很廣,Thomas & Betts公司後來控告其他公司也是汙染源,聯邦上訴法庭也裁定其他公司必須分擔約1300萬元的清理污染費用。

   麻州政府發現Neponset一帶汙染問題複雜,責任難釐清後,決定轉請聯邦政府協。

                   聯邦環保署的通過Neponset河列入"超級經費地點"優先處理名單,意味著聯邦政府將動用資源協助麻州及地方市鎮調查汙染來源,先確認那些公司有責任清理,再研擬清理計畫及經費來源。聯邦眾議員Steven Lynch在回答提問時說明,聯邦及州市政府將按特定比例,支付公司罰款以外所需的清理費用。





MAYOR WU JOINS EPA, ELECTED OFFICIALS TO ANNOUNCE LOWER NEPONSET RIVER AS A SUPERFUND SITE

Federal funds will support the remediation of a historically neglected and polluted natural space
BOSTON - Monday, March 14, 2022- Today, Mayor Michelle Wu joined EPA Regional Administrator David Cash and members of the Massachusetts Delegation to declare the Lower Neponset River as a part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The Lower Neponset River site is identified as the 3.7-mile stretch of the Neponset River from the point where it merges with Mother Brook in Hyde Park, extending downstream to the Walter Baker Dam in Dorchester and into the town of Milton, Mass. This declaration will support the City of Boston in transforming the river into an ecologically sound, healthy, and sustainable natural space while supporting a thriving local community. 

“Having been part of neighborhood meetings about this area and Neponset River cleanup efforts over the years, I know how much this natural treasure means to our communities. This designation will open up full federal partnership to invest the resources in restoring a healthy ecosystem that is especially needed in our work to become a Green New Deal city,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “For far too long, environmental justice communities like Mattapan have been bearing the brunt of climate change and environmental hazards, and I look forward to working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency on improving this beautiful resource in Boston.”

“Listing the Lower Neponset River Site on the Superfund NPL is a big step for the Boston and Milton neighborhoods. We now have a mechanism to clean up the river and protect the health of the communities around it, as well as increasing the overall use and enjoyment of this important resource” said EPA Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “We have to thank our local partners in the communities and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for their support and hard work to get the site listed, and we look forward to continued partnership as we embark on the next phase of the project. This is a win for families who value recreating on the
river, a win for great blue herons, a win for fish, and a win for Massachusetts.”

Historically, numerous mills were established along this portion of the Neponset River in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and the town of Milton, MA. The mills initially utilized dams to generate power to turn mill grinding wheels and later to operate large industrial mills. These mills and other industrial facilities in the area are suspected to have contaminated this portion of the Neponset. Based on preliminary studies, this portion of the river contains sediment contaminated with elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which can be detrimental for public and environmental health. 

For more than a decade, community members throughout Hyde Park, Dorchester and Mattapan have expressed concern about the potential contamination. In referring the site to EPA, the City and Commonwealth agreed that listing the river on the NPL presents the most significant opportunity to remediate the river and surrounding land. The City, in conjunction with the EPA and the Commonwealth, has a shared goal of protecting the people who have been directly impacted by the industrial contamination in the river.

"With the addition of the Lower Neponset River to the US EPA Superfund National Priorities list, our community is very excited to have the wonderful river alongside our neighborhood become a safer community resource," said Vivien Morris of the Edgewater Neighborhood Association

The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of
contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. EPA determined that the Lower Neponset River site qualified for the NPL because this portion of the river contains sediment contaminated with elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that may pose a risk to human health and or the environment.

NPL designation is the first step in a series of actions to transform and remediate the Lower Neponset River. The EPA’s Superfund Process will now move to remedial investigation, which will determine the extent of the contamination and assess its risks to the local community and the ecosystem. A feasibility study must then be conducted to determine possible cleanup alternatives. A plan must then be developed and a formal public comment period will begin. A cleanup decision will then be made and remedial action will be conducted. This process will be led by the EPA.

Open spaces with healthy ecosystems function as a method to achieve our climate mitigation and adaptation goals while supporting our path to become a Green New Deal city. Mayor Wu’s Administration is committed to environmental protection and is laying the foundation to become a carbon neutral city. Within her first one hundred days in office, Mayor Wu signed an ordinance to divest City-funds from the fossil fuel, tobacco, and private prison industries. Mayor Wu also announced new, lower community choice electricity rates and outlined steps to reduce vehicle emissions and electrify the City fleet. Mayor Wu additionally announced the launch of the two-year fare-free program on MBTA bus Routes 23, 28, and 29 on March 1, 2022.

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