"Toxic Legacy" is a five-part series by reporters at The Record
exploring the environmental and health impacts of paint sludge and other
industrial waste dumped a generation ago in watersheds and other
environmentally sensitive areas by the Ford Motor Co. For 25 years, ending
in 1980, the automaker operated a massive assembly plant in Bergen County
that produced nearly 6 million vehicles and an ocean of industrial waste. Much of that waste remains where it was dumped, including a woodland
watershed that's home to a low-income community whose members claim Native
American ancestry. "The Record found that Ford repeatedly dumped in poor communities and failed to clean up its mess. "The tract was subjected to a Superfund cleanup, but the
EPA repeatedly declared the site clean even though slabs of paint sludge and
other waste was still readily apparent.
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