Local Environmental Groups Team Up for Conference

An extensive cleanup of contamination from Ford Motor Company’s former manufacturing plant in Mahwah will be a highlight of discussions at the 18th annual Ramapo River Watershed Conference on Friday.

The Ramapo River Committee and the Environmental Studies Program at Ramapo College are joining together to host the conference in the Trustees Pavilion on April 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The purpose of the conference is to present important updates on watershed events, including the Ford paint sludge remediation currently underway in Torne Valley in Ramapo, N.Y., news from the Ramapo River headwaters in Orange County, N.Y. and an environmental impact assessment by Ramapo College students of the expanded natural gas pipelines under construction in the Highlands region.

At 2 p.m., students in Professor Michael Edelstein’s environmental assessment capstone course will give a report on “Assessing Cumulative Impacts of Gas Pipelines in the Highlands Region.” President Peter Mercer will give the opening remarks at the event, followed by the dean of the School of Social Science and Human Services (SSHS), Sam Rosenberg.

Members of the Ramapo River committee, including Chairman Geoff Welch, will be speaking to update the community on what is happening across the region in New York and New Jersey.

The supervisor of the town of Ramapo, Christopher St. Lawrence, will also be speaking about Ford’s remediation work, along with Cornell Cooperative Extension Educator and Adjunct Professor Chuck Stead.

Another important topic that has been affecting residents in Pompton Lakes, N.J. is pollution in much of the town from DuPont’s former explosive manufacturing plant. The event will also feature an exceptional variety of speakers on several other environmental and cultural topics pertaining to the Ramapo Valley in New Jersey and New York.

The Ramapo College community and residents in surrounding towns are encouraged to attend this conference in order to understand what is happening in our environment. The event is free to attend, but registration is requested; to do so, email geoffwelch@gmail.com

For more information on the conference schedule, visit