The Environmental Protection Agency is calling for a $1.7 billion cleanup of the heavily polluted lower Passaic River in New Jersey.

Passaic River in Newark (Google street view)

The federal agency's plan was announced Friday and hailed by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, along with other officials.

The government plans to use Superfund money paid by polluters to dredge the lower 2 miles of the waterway and to cap the six miles above that from bank to bank.

Officials say they expect to remove dioxin, mercury, DDT and other pollutants from the river.

A Newark plant that made Agent Orange was one of more than 100 facilities blamed for polluting the river.

A public comment period is scheduled to last until June with a final, detailed plan to be unveiled next year.

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