By Ismail Hozien
I hope to find through my research, the factors that caused the radioactive dump in my hometown, Wayne, Jersey, to become a dog park. I hope to find court cases relating to W.R. Grace & company to clean up the site. I am possibly looking three or more legal processes here: 1) How the site was shut down and demolished. 2) How it ended up getting professionally cleaned. 3) How it suddenly became a dog park, after being vacant for years. What particularly interests me in a case like this is that there are so many factors at play… it seems like something really big is going on unnoticed. For example, Wayne, New Jersey is a majority white suburban town, a big one in fact. There have been a number of businesses that have recently opened up in very close proximity to the site. In addition to all of those factors, there is a pretty large local farm downhill from the site… one could just imagine all the harmful stuff that gets carried from the site down to the farm whenever it rains. All of these factors at play pose a lot of questions.
Why has a plot of land that has been empty for years suddenly been transformed into this park? Who were the major decision makers? How has W.R. Grace and Company been involved? How has Wayne Interim Storage been involved? How has the EPA and other branches of the government been involved? Were the locals a part of any of these processes and how? Why was the land originally chosen as dump for thorium, uranium and other metals? What do the local demographics look like? Have real estate prices been affected (maybe this is why new businesses have started to pop up)?