N.J. environmental group ranks Pa. 7th and N.J. 12th in water pollution

A New Jersey environmental group says that heavy industry has put local water supplies at risk.

In its national report, Environment New Jersey ranked Pennsylvania seventh and New Jersey 12th in the overall amounts of toxic chemical discharge into waterways.

The group also found the Delaware River to be fifth worst in the nation.

“We’re finding things such as arsenic, mercury, benzene. These are chemicals that are linked to cancer, developmental disorders and reproductive disorders,” said Megan Fitzpatrick, a spokeswoman for the group. “They’re definitely things we don’t want to be swimming in. More importantly, they’re not things we want in our drinking water.”

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The study specifically called out the DuPont Chambers Works factory in Salem County, N.J. The group said it’s the nation’s fourth-worst polluting plant when it comes to water discharges.

DuPont Chambers Works officials say that they’re committed to reducing their environmental footprint and point to the fact that they have reduced their toxic chemical output by 60 percent since 1987.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection calls the report misleading, saying even with those discharges, the Delaware River meets state and federal standards.

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