Ridgewood Site Could Make Superfund List

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

An industrial site in Ridgewood is being considered for a designation that would make it among the most hazardous waste sites in the United States.

The area that used to be the Alport Chemical Company on the Queens-Brooklyn border is being considered for the Superfund status, which is a program by the Environmental Protection Agency that allows for funding to clean up hazardous waste sites, ask companies to do the clean ups or give money back to the government for a cleanup lead by the EPA.

The Alport Chemical site was used by the federal government to buy thorium that it used for atomic bombs. The government was using those bombs as part of the Manhattan project.

A couple of years ago, there was radiation found beneath the ground at the site, which is located at Irving Avenue in Ridgewood, steps away from the border to Brooklyn.

Work has been ongoing at the former Alport site, which sees EPA workers installing lead sheets beneath the ground, which will shield residents from the radiation located there.

According to Elias Rodriguez, the list is updated about twice a year and the next update to the list should occur in about one month.

While it is being considered for the list, the EPA has not made a decision either way for the former Alport site, Elias Rodriguez, an EPA spokesperson, said.

As for the work being done at the Ridgewood site, Eric Daley, an on-site coordinator for the EPA, said they are currently ahead of schedule for their work and are expecting to be done by the second week in December.

They are currently placing shielding on the sidewalk in that area, which is more complicated than their previous work because there is a smaller space they are working with.

The group is using what he called the “steel lead sandwich” method, which is placing one sheet of steel beneath the group, installing lead on top of that and then another piece of steel, creating the “sandwich” to block the radiation.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.