The Passaic River needs your help.

The EPA wants New Jersey taxpayers to pay for the clean-up of the Passaic River.

We think that’s a bad deal.

In 2022, OxyChem made a series of offers to the EPA to design and implement EPA’s approach to clean up the river. Work would have begun immediately and cost taxpayers nothing.

The EPA ignored us. In December, the EPA and Department of Justice asked a federal court to approve its proposed settlement agreement with 85 companies the EPA recognizes polluted the Passaic River over the last 150 years.

If approved, the agreement would let those companies off the hook for just $150 million. Not one penny would actually go to clean-up of the river. This means nearly all the $1.82 billion clean-up cost is pinned on a handful of parties, including New Jersey communities.

That’s wrong.

If you agree, act now. Reach out to your elected officials.

Read OxyChem’s opposition to the proposed settlement here.

See what we’re doing to clean the Passaic River

You can help stop EPA’s bad deal.

But you have to act now.

How EPA’s settlement affects New Jersey.

The EPA estimates the total cost for the clean-up of the Passaic River to be $1.82 billion, yet its proposed settlement doesn’t require any polluter to clean up anything.

The result:

  • New Jersey taxpayers could be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to cover the settling companies’ share of the clean-up.
  • The settling companies write a check and walk away.
  • Clean-up of the Passaic River will be further delayed.
  • Companies will be discouraged from doing the right thing for future clean-ups.

The problem in numbers.

OxyChem has been leading the effort to remedy and revitalize the Passaic River even though OxyChem itself did not cause the pollution. There is still a lot of work to be done. Here’s how the numbers break down.

150 years

Length of time industries have been polluting the river


Companies responsible for polluting the Passaic River

$1.82 billion

Approximate cost to clean up the Passaic River

42 towns

On the hook if the EPA’s settlement is approved

8.3 miles

Clean-up plan already developed by OxyChem

9 miles

Remaining portion of the river where no clean-up work is being performed, despite OxyChem’s January & June 2022 offers to do so

What others are saying

“I can say right off the top that the settlement seems very low, particularly in light of the number of parties involved and the overall cost of the work.”

Michele Langa
Staff Attorney, NYNJ Baykeeper, as quoted in, Dec. 20, 2022

“Until the 1970s, it was common practice to discharge wastewater into the river. And, so, fast-forward to today, EPA has identified over a hundred industrial facilities potentially responsible for sending contamination into the river.”

Alice Yeh
EPA Remedial Project Manager for lower 8.3 miles of the Passaic River (May 17, 2014 “Passaic River Superfund Site Public Meeting,” Portuguese Sports Club, Newark, New Jersey).

Shielding companies from contributing their fair share of a Superfund cleanup is not in the public interest. Only OxyChem has offered to design and sequentially implement the EPA’s selected remedies for the river.

Charles F. Weiss
Senior Vice President, OxyChem, in, Oct. 19, 2022


Op-ed: It’s time for EPA to end settlement secrecy over Passaic River cleanup


An Op-ed authored by Robert Peterson on September 20th covering inconsistencies with EPA’s proposed settlement with the companies that polluted the Passaic River.

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How EPA’s settlement affects New Jersey

80kb PDF

A letter from Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (“PVSC”) commenting on the proposed consent decree lodged by the DOJ on December 16, 2022.

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Lower 8.3 Miles – Design Progress Update


Remedial Design Progress Update of the lower 8.3 miles of the Passaic River.

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Frequently Asked Questions

812kb PDF

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Passaic River Superfund Site, last updated April 10, 2023.

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OxyChem Comment Letter: Executive Summary

239kb PDF

Summary of OxyChem’s comment letter submitted to EPA and DOJ on March 22, 2023 opposing EPA’s proposed settlement.

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OxyChem Comment Letter Opposing EPA’s Proposed Settlement

13,287kb PDF

Full-text of OxyChem’s March 22, 2023 comment letter to EPA and DOJ opposing EPA’s proposed settlement.

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Op-Ed: EPA is taking New Jerseyans to the cleaners

via LinkedIn

Article published via LinkedIn by OxyChem CEO Neil Ackerman on March 2, 2023.

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Op-Ed: EPA should protect Passaic River, not polluters


Op-ed published in NJ Spotlight News offering an overview of OxyChem’s rejected offer to the EPA to clean up the river.

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Cost of Cleanup Infographic

1,219kb PDF

Breakdown of financial responsibility for the Passaic River Superfund Site under the EPA’s current proposal.

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Passaic River Site Timeline

2,570kb PDF

Overview of the history of the Passaic River Superfund site from the 1980s to today, including OxyChem’s recent offer to the EPA.

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