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New Report Identifies Solutions for A Cleaner New York/New Jersey Harbor

Image of Statue of Liberty (New York April 03, 2008) The New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) has issued a groundbreaking report summarizing pollution prevention (P2) strategies for five contaminants to the NY/NJ Harbor -- mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). "The Safe Harbor Report: Bringing People and Science Together to Improve the New York/New Jersey Harbor" is the result of seven years of Industrial Ecology research. Investigators charted the flow of the contaminants from their origins in processes, products, or legacy contamination through to their ultimate fate in the harbor.

The scientific analysis for the project was developed in an innovative process with ongoing feedback from a consortium of over 70 stakeholder institutions including local, community and environmental groups; industry and small business associations; local, state and federal government; and academia, labor and conservation sectors from the entire Harbor watershed. The combination of the Industrial Ecology analysis and the collaborative consortium process supported a robust understanding of the materials flow systems impacting the harbor; creative long-term P2 strategies addressing emissions and harbor loadings of the five contaminants; and the implementation of recommended actions. Partners supporting the project included the NYAS, EPA region 2, and the Port Authority of NY and NJ.

Results and recommendations from this research have been published and released in stages beginning in 2002 and ending in 2007 with the publication of the final report on PAHs. Through a broad array of governmental actions and local initiatives a significant number of these recommendations have been, or are being, implemented.

The NY/NJ Harbor Consortium achievements and published works provide a guide applicable for developing achievable solutions to several kinds of highly complex problems. The five reports have become a major reference and educational source of information for a diverse global audience.

A healthy harbor is a regional priority with national significance, said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. EPA is proud to have supported and partially funded this broad-based coalition of collaborative problem solvers, and even more proud to see final recommendations that will encourage others to seize those opportunities to be good environmental stewards.

In 2005, EPA issued a Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability (CNS)/ Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant to NYAS to support the strategy for dioxins and PAHs.

Read a summary of the project.exit EPA

Read the full report. exit EPA

Read Region 2 Press release

Find more detail on this CNS grant.

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