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<v Marc Levenson>The Ciba-Geigy Chemical Company in Toms River has two landfills on its property. <v Marc Levenson>The old one has contaminated the local groundwater and it's on the federal Superfund <v Marc Levenson>list. The new one was operated so poorly that the state imposed a record <v Marc Levenson>fine and opened a criminal investigation. <v Marc Levenson>But the landfills are minor compared to the pipeline. <v Marc Levenson>In the first of a two-part special report, Michael Aron tells us what the company has <v Marc Levenson>been dumping into the ocean for the last 19 years. <v Michael Aron>Ciba-Geigy, is a Swiss chemical company with a plant in Toms River. <v Michael Aron>Each day it discharges four and a half million gallons of toxic wastewater into the <v Michael Aron>Atlantic Ocean. Although it's treated, the wastewater still contains hundreds of <v Michael Aron>chemicals and metals. This is a partial list. <v Michael Aron>Every one of these is classified as hazardous. <v Peter Montague>It is known because of tests that were done by the <v Peter Montague>Department of Environmental Protection that these wastes are full of
<v Peter Montague>mutagenic materials and carcinogenic materials. <v Peter Montague>Cancer-causing and materials that will cause inherited genetic <v Peter Montague>changes in humans and in other forms of life. <v Michael Aron>The DEP's Division of Water Resources, which regulates wastewater discharges, <v Michael Aron>recently gave Ciba-Geigy a permit to continue its ocean discharge for another five <v Michael Aron>years. This division director says the 50 page permit is the most stringent <v Michael Aron>ever issued by the DP, which issues fifteen hundred such permits to industry <v Michael Aron>and sewage authorities. <v John Gaston>Sure, there's material going in the ocean that shouldn't be going there, <v John Gaston>but we think and we're working to verify the fact that the impacts associated <v John Gaston>with that are are tolerable in the short term until we implement a program <v John Gaston>within three years to remove the principal sources of contamination. <v Michael Aron>The heart of the permit is that within three years the effluent that comes out of <v Michael Aron>Ciba-Geigy's treatment plant and gets piped 10 miles underground to the ocean <v Michael Aron>must pass a bio assay test.
<v Michael Aron>That means that half these test organisms must be able to survive for 96 hours <v Michael Aron>in a 50/50 mixture of effluent and seawater. <v Michael Aron>Right now the effluent is so toxic that half the organisms die in a mixture of 5 <v Michael Aron>percent effluent and 95 percent seawater. <v Michael Aron>In other words, the effluent must be made 10 times less toxic within three years. <v Michael Aron>The company says it will spend 15 to 25 million dollars, adding carbon filtration <v Michael Aron>to its treatment system and altering its production processes to meet that goal. <v Michael Aron>But critics are not reassured. <v Stephanie Wauters>This permit we see as nothing more than a rubber stamp of Ciba's current practices. <v Michael Aron>A group called Ocean County Citizens for Clean Water has filed an appeal against the <v Michael Aron>permit. They think it's too lenient. <v Michael Aron>Their principal objections? Three years is too long to wait for a cleaner effluent. <v Michael Aron>And after three years, the permit still allows Ciba-Geigy to discharge 3 pounds per day <v Michael Aron>of lead, a half pound of mercury, 15 pounds of chromium, 4000 <v Michael Aron>pounds of suspended solids, 7000 pounds of organic carbons
<v Michael Aron>every day. With the effluent then passed the bio assay test? <v Michael Aron>No one knows. <v Peter Montague>I would say that the DEP has been permissive with Ciba-Geigy. <v Michael Aron>Peter Montague is the author of two books on water pollution. <v Michael Aron>He lives in Princeton and has filed his own appeal against the permit. <v Michael Aron>Why? Well, take lead, for example. <v Peter Montague>It's a very potent and dangerous material. <v Peter Montague>And under this permit, Ciba Geigy will be able to dump tons, literally tons <v Peter Montague>of lead into the public environment, into the ocean. <v Tom Chizmadia>We feel that the effluent has no negative impacts <v Tom Chizmadia>on the marine environment or to health. <v Michael Aron>Tom Chizmadia is the plant spokesman, the third the company has had in a year. <v Tom Chizmadia>After the water goes through its treatment, the resulting effluent is 99.5 <v Tom Chizmadia>percent water. A third of the balance of that are salts. <v Tom Chizmadia>The rest of that is composed of various organics and metals such as lead <v Tom Chizmadia>that are regulated in our permit. <v Stephanie Wauters>The company also likes to say that 99 - this waste is 99.5
<v Stephanie Wauters>percent water. Well, this product, which is put out by a <v Stephanie Wauters>common insect killer, has more than 99 <v Stephanie Wauters>and a half percent water in it. <v Stephanie Wauters>And yet the less than a half of 1 percent is toxic enough to have all <v Stephanie Wauters>the warnings and and to tell the public not to get it on their skin. <v Michael Aron>The discharge takes place off Wortley Beach, about half a mile out. <v Michael Aron>At present, there's no evidence any harm has been done by 19 years worth of the <v Michael Aron>discharge. But not much testing has been done either. <v Michael Aron>And what has been done is unreliable. <v Michael Aron>Last May, DEP commissioner, Robert Huie, declared tautly Beach safe for swimming this <v Michael Aron>summer based on testing that an official here at Water Resources now says was <v Michael Aron>meaningles because of the concern he had. <v George McCann>The methods, the samples were collected and the type of analysis that was used. <v Michael Aron>Tomorrow night, we'll show you the underwater discharge. <v Michael Aron>We'll show it to the DEP and we'll see how even if it's made less toxic, it will <v Michael Aron>still violate state water standards.
<v Michael Aron>I'm Michael Eireann. <v Marc Levenson>A New York federal judge says a North Jersey water company's strategy to enforce the <v Marc Levenson>state's drought rationing went too far. <v Marc Levenson>So the Hackensack Water Company has been ordered to destroy a list of customers it <v Marc Levenson>compiled through Social Security numbers. <v Marc Levenson>The judge called the list an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. <v Marc Levenson>The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the suit, says the decision amounts to an <v Marc Levenson>important right to privacy ruling. <v Marc Levenson>The Department of Environmental Protection gives out what, fifteen hundred wastewater
<v Marc Levenson>discharge permits in New Jersey. <v Marc Levenson>But Ciba-Geigy is the only industrial firm allowed to discharge into the ocean. <v Marc Levenson>Last night, in part one of his special report, Michael Eireann told us how the DEP <v Marc Levenson>plans to reduce the toxicity of Ciba-Geigy's ocean discharge. <v Marc Levenson>Tonight, he tells us that even a less toxic discharge has <v Marc Levenson>its objectional features. <v Tom Chizmadia>In terms of the color of the effluent, the best analogy I can use is the painter's <v Tom Chizmadia>palette. We make dyes here. <v Tom Chizmadia>When you have a lot of colors coming together, you're not going to get a clear, a clear <v Tom Chizmadia>final process. <v Michael Aron>That's company spokesman Tom Shiz. Media explaining why the wastewater from Ciba-Geigy's <v Michael Aron>pipeline is so dark even after treatment. <v Michael Aron>You can see it here, exiting one of the pipelines, 50 discharge ports. <v Michael Aron>It's the brown liquid. The fact that it has a color violates a state regulation. <v Michael Aron>We played the tape for the DEP director whose division recently renewed Ciba Geigy's <v Michael Aron>permit to operate the pipeline. <v Michael Aron>Isn't there a water quality standard in this state that says that a discharge
<v Michael Aron>can not discolor the receiving waters with his effluent? <v Michael Aron>And isn't that, in fact, what Ciba-Geigy is doing day and <v Michael Aron>night? <v John Gaston>That's been their past practice. <v John Gaston>And what you're seeing on the tape really is another reason why they <v John Gaston>have to go to higher levels of technology to treat their wastewater. <v John Gaston>But they're a dye plant. It's still going to be some color. <v John Gaston>Well, it may or may not be. <v Michael Aron>Chizmadia says the state isn't worried about color. <v Tom Chizmadia>Clarity in terms of clear. <v Tom Chizmadia>You know, being clear in nature is not a condition of the permit. <v Michael Aron>In other words, the company can be in compliance with its permit and still violate the <v Michael Aron>color standard. Although the ocean is dynamic and clearly does dilute <v Michael Aron>the effluent, the surfers know it's there. <v surfer>A lot of people again turned off to paddle out. <v surfer>You see brown in the whitewash and everything, you don't want to go surfing anymore. <v Frank Livelli>This effluent has been described by the DEP as the most mutagenic material <v Frank Livelli>ever tested in the EPA labs as of that day. <v Frank Livelli>A mutageic as described by the DEP is a product which can cause
<v Frank Livelli>cancer, birth defects, thought disease and aging. <v Michael Aron>Critics of the DEP worry more about what's in the effluent than its color. <v Michael Aron>They think the permit is too lenient and that the DEP has ignored its own scientists. <v Stephanie Wauters>The discharge is clearly mutagenic waste. <v Stephanie Wauters>Such a discharge should not be permitted. <v Stephanie Wauters>This is an internal DEP memo. <v Stephanie Wauters>These generalized comments based on DEP's own testing <v Stephanie Wauters>have seemed to go by the wayside. <v John Gaston>The report that's been so extensively quoted was a draft report that they put out <v John Gaston>and the draft report had to be the subject of review by peers <v John Gaston>when their peers reviewed that report. <v John Gaston>And when the director of the office reviewed the report, he felt that the <v John Gaston>language that was used in that conclusion was too strong for the evidence <v John Gaston>that was there. <v Peter Montague>The DEP is a highly politicized agency and the Office of Science <v Peter Montague>and Research is acting and reporting
<v Peter Montague>on science and health matters. <v Peter Montague>But by the time that science and health information floats upward into the <v Peter Montague>arena of policy, it gets watered down. <v John Gaston>There's no basis to say that the layers of bureaucracy watered down <v John Gaston>decisions at all. <v John Gaston>In the case of Ciba-Geigy we've taken a very hard stance with respect to their <v John Gaston>plan. <v Michael Aron>1000 people work at Ciba-Geigy. It's the largest private employer in all <v Michael Aron>of Ocean County. And the company says if the pipeline were shut down, it would have <v Michael Aron>to shut down. <v Tom Chizmadia>If you look at the fact that the intent is to stop us from discharging <v Tom Chizmadia>translated, that means to closing the plant. <v Tom Chizmadia>We need the wastewater treatment facility and the pipeline in order to operate. <v Michael Aron>DEP says there are two other reasons for not shutting the pipeline. <v John Gaston>One is that the law doesn't provide for it, and second, <v John Gaston>we don't have evidence that would drive us in that in that direction. <v John Gaston>If the evidence drove us in that direction, why we would we would consider that kind of
<v John Gaston>a very stringent move. <v Michael Aron>You make it sound like it's a real folly, what's going on down there. <v Peter Montague>Well, I don't know whether I'd characterize it as a folly. <v Peter Montague>It's it's business as usual, what's going on down there. <v Peter Montague>It has been profitable to conduct business in this way for many years. <v Peter Montague>And there's a lot of momentum for doing it the same way year after <v Peter Montague>year. <v Michael Aron>As in most modern arguments about exposure and risk, it's hard to know which side <v Michael Aron>is right. The residents say, then why not air on the side of caution and shut the <v Michael Aron>pipeline? The state says, how can we shut the pipeline and throw people out of work <v Michael Aron>when there's no evidence any harm has been done? <v Michael Aron>While the argument continues, four and a half million gallons of toxic effluent will be <v Michael Aron>discharged into the ocean every day, just as it has for the past 19 <v Michael Aron>years. From Ortley Beach in Ocean County, I'm Michael Aron. <v Marc Levenson>And still ahead tonight, Michael Barkin will be back with the complete weather outlook.
Series
New Jersey Network News
Episode
1985--excerpts, The Pipe
Segment
The Pipe
Producing Organization
New Jersey Network
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-526-bz6154ft6b
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Description
Series Description
"Throughout the United States, industries and sewage authorities routinely discharge wastewater into oceans, streams, and rivers. Usually, they are permitted to do so by the EPA or a state environmental agency. It's estimated there are 40,000 discharge permits in the United States. 1500 are given out by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. "Of those 1500, only one sanctions the discharge of toxic chemicals directly into the Atlantic Ocean. This is the permit held by Ciba-Geigy, a multinational Swiss-owned chemical and pharmaceutical firm with 5 plants in the United States. Its plant in Toms River, NJ, is the largest dye manufacturing facility in the country. Every day for the last 19 years, Ciba-Geigy has discharged approximately 5 million gallons of treated chemical effluent (wastewater) into the waters off Ortley Beach, a popular summer resort area. Each day's discharge contains thousands of pounds of chemicals and metals. "It wasn't until 1984 that residents of the area learned what the company had been doing since 1966. Pressure began to be applied. The environmental group Greenpeace tried to plug the company's pipeline and got arrested. Meanwhile, Ciba-Geigy was coming under scrutiny for its on-site handling of toxic chemicals. The plant was put on the federal Superfund list, and state authorities hit the company with a record fine. "'The Pipe,' a 2-part series on New Jersey Network News, is an attempt to get behind the headlines and explain the controversy over the ocean discharge. It took the better part of the summer to research, shoot, and write. "We commend it to the Peabody judges for its incisiveness, its thoroughness, and its edge."--1985 Peabody Awards entry form. The program includes appearances by Peter Montague, John Gaston, Stephanie Wauters, Tom Chizmadia, Frank Livelli, George McCann, and reporters Michael Aron and Marc Levenson.
Description
"Throughout the United States, industries and sewage authorities routinely discharge wastewater into oceans, streams, and rivers. Usually, they are permitted to do so by the EPA or a state environmental agency. It's estimated there are 40,000 discharge permits in the United States. 1500 are given out by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection."Of those 1500, only one sanctions the discharge of toxic chemicals directly into the Atlantic Ocean. This is the permit held by Ciba-Geigy, a multinational Swiss-owned chemical and pharmaceutical firm with 5 plants in the United States. Its plant in Toms River, NJ, is the largest dye manufacturing facility in the country. Every day for the last 19 years, Ciba-Geigy has discharged approximately 5 million gallons of treated chemical effluent (wastewater) into the waters off Ortley Beach, a popular summer resort area. Each day's discharge contains thousands of pounds of chemicals and metals. "It wasn't until 1984 that residents of the area learned what the company had been doing since 1966. Pressure began to be applied. The environmental group Greenpeace tried to plug the company's pipeline and got arrested. Meanwhile, Ciba-Geigy was coming under scrutiny for its on-site handling of toxic chemicals. The plant was put on the federal Superfund list, and state authorities hit the company with a record fine. "'The Pipe,' a 2-part series on New Jersey Network News, is an attempt to get behind the headlines and explain the controversy over the ocean discharge. It took the better part of the summer to research, shoot, and write. "We commend it to the Peabody judges for its incisiveness, its thoroughness, and its edge."--1985 Peabody Awards entry form.
Broadcast Date
1985-08
Created Date
1985
Asset type
Episode
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
00:12:16.336
Embed Code
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Credits
Producing Organization: New Jersey Network
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-c47eb45b3a8 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
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Citations
Chicago: “New Jersey Network News; 1985--excerpts, The Pipe; The Pipe,” 1985-08, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-bz6154ft6b.
MLA: “New Jersey Network News; 1985--excerpts, The Pipe; The Pipe.” 1985-08. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-bz6154ft6b>.
APA: New Jersey Network News; 1985--excerpts, The Pipe; The Pipe. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-bz6154ft6b