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Vivian Milligan (1951–2021), NJ pollution fighter from HBO’s ‘Mann v. Ford’

by Linnea Crowther

Vivian Milligan was a clean water activist who prominently fought for the cleanup of a New Jersey Superfund site.

Mann v. Ford

Milligan was a member of the Turtle Clan of the Ramapough Lenape tribe, some of whom live in Ringwood, New Jersey. In the 1970s, the Ford Motor Company dumped toxic waste, including lead-based paint sludge, in a Ringwood landfill, which was later declared a Superfund site by the EPA. It was partially cleaned up, but toxic materials still remained in the ground. Over the years, nearby Ramapough residents were diagnosed with leukemia and other health problems that have been linked to the landfill.

Milligan led a fight to have the landfill’s dangerous materials fully removed, advocating for a thorough cleanup instead of the cap on the landfill proposed by the EPA. She was one of the leading advocates for the cleanup, giving tours of the site and speaking out at public meetings on the subject. In 2011, the HBO documentary “Mann v. Ford” told the story of the fight to clean up the Ringwood Superfund site; Milligan was among the residents who was featured in the documentary.

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Tributes to Vivian Milligan

Full obituary: NorthJersey.com

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