The Most Radioactive Place in New York: The E.P.A. Weighs In via The New Yorker

On Wednesday, The New Yorker published a video about the most radioactive place in New York City, in Ridgewood, Queens. Today, after months of study and small-scale remediation, the Environmental Protection Agency added that area, which was once home to the Wolff-Alport chemical company, to its list of Superfund sites.

For decades, Wolff-Alport processed rare-earth metals and dumped the waste product, radioactive thorium, down the sewer. Later, they sold their thorium to the Atomic Energy Commission, which stockpiled the material for use in nuclear weapons and reactors.

Now that the Superfund site has been designated, the E.P.A. will have to decide which method of cleanup will most effectively reduce the area’s elevated radiation levels—one option is to dig up the contaminated soil and ship it to a treatment facility. But, as an investigation by the Guardian uncovered recently, that process has its own problems, including health risks.

Read more at The Most Radioactive Place in New York City

Click here to watch a video about the site’s strange history and to view an accompanying time line, infographic, and map.

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