Jersey Journal (Jersey City) June 21, 2005 CHROMIUM REPORT IRKS 2 OF ITS AUTHORS By Alexander Lane A state report on toxic waste in Hudson County has sparked criticism from an unlikely source: two of the scientists who helped write it. Zoey Kellman, a chemical engineer, and Theodore Hayes, a soil scientist, criticized the Department of Environmental Protection's review of cleanup standards at 200 or so chromium sites, most in Jersey City. They said the agency favored industry interests over the health of people living near the sites. "I feel strongly that the errors and omissions in this report expose the public to unnecessary health risks," Kellman wrote. DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell said he "welcomed them to submit comments . made (it) very clear that all views are welcome, and that those comments will be examined as well as others before a final decision is made." He said it was yet to be determined how much weight they would be afforded. Three companies -- now known as Honeywell, PPG Industries and Occidental Chemical -- refined chrome ore in Hudson County for much of the last century. Giant piles of toxic waste accumulated and they eventually disposed of it by distributing it as fill throughout Hudson and parts of Essex counties. That left some 200 known toxic sites, each containing some quantity of the bright green, highly toxic hexavalent form of chromium, a known carcinogen. Over time, the DEP -- at the urging of the companies -- loosened standards so much that some sites no longer required significant clean-up. Some DEP scientists and community activists contend the change in standards was based on biased, industry-funded science. Campbell last year assigned a team of 24 scientists -- drawn from various federal and state agencies -- to look into the matter. Their report found numerous lingering questions about chromium toxicity, but recommended no change in the standards. It is that recommendation Kellman and Hayes have questioned. "Children playing in the imported soils at their homes may be exposed to more dusts containing hexavalent chromium than is currently assumed," Hayes wrote in the introduction to his highly technical comments. "Please read the attached papers which address why the soil cleanup standards for inhalation should be lower than what has been used historically." Representatives of Honeywell, PPG and Tierra Solutions -- the company handling Occidental's chromium liability -- declined to comment on the objections of Kellman and Hayes. Copyright 2005 NJ.com.