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Thursday, July 18, 2024


Project Meetings

On Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 6-8 PM, EPA will host a community meeting on the cleanup of the Upper Nine Miles of the Lower Passaic River. The meeting will be in person at Garfield City Hall, 109 Outwater Lane, Garfield, NJ. Meeting announcements are available in English, Spanish, and Polish.

On Tuesday, August 27, 2024 at 6-8 PM, EPA will host a community meeting on the cleanup of the Lower 8.3 Miles of the Passaic River. The meeting will be in person at Harrison High School, 401 Kingsland Avenue, Harrison, NJ. Meeting announcements are available in English and Spanish (Portuguese available shortly).

The next Passaic River Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting will be on Thursday, September 12, 2024 at 6 PM, in person, at a location to be determined.

Videos of past meetings are posted here. Presentations from previous meetings are posted in the Digital Library, under Public Outreach Documents, Public Outreach\Community Advisory Group. Please contact Shereen Kandil with any questions at 212-637-4333 or kandil.shereen@epa.gov.

Fish and Shellfish Advisories

Exposure to low levels of some contaminants in the environment may have long lasting health effects on people. Mercury, PCBs and dioxins are among the major contaminants found in some New Jersey fish in portions of the state. These contaminants can be especially harmful to women of childbearing age, pregnant women and nursing mothers. Children are also at risk of developmental and neurological problems if exposed to these chemicals.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) provide advice on consuming those species of fish in which high levels of dioxin, PCBs and mercury have been found.

Why we are here...

The Lower Passaic River is a 17-mile tidal stretch from Dundee Dam to the river mouth at Newark Bay. The river has a long history of industrialization, which has resulted in degraded water quality, sediment contamination, loss of wetlands and abandoned or underutilized properties along the shore.

A group of Partner Agencies (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New Jersey Department of Transportation) is working together to clean up and restore the Lower Passaic River. The agencies are bringing together the authorities of the Superfund Program, the Water Resources Development Act, the Clean Water Act and other laws to improve the health of the river.

Objectives of the Study
Project News

EPA Approves Final Clean-Up Design for Lower 8.3 Miles of the Passaic River [May 2024]

EPA has approved the final engineering design work needed to clean up the lower 8.3 miles of the Passaic River. The design was developed by Occidental Chemical Corporation-Glenn Springs Holdings and subject to review and approval by EPA. A fact sheet located here provides an overview of what’s in the design. The design documents will be posted in the Digital Library, under “All Public Documents”, “Passaic River Lower 8 Mile Action”.

With the approval of the bioaccumulation model (Appendix P), EPA has finalized the 17-mile Remedial Investigation Report which can be accessed here. [January 2023]

Proposed Consent Decree with 85 Potentially Responsible Parties for Public Comment [December 2022]

EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice announce a proposed consent decree, a legal document, with 85 potentially responsible parties, requiring them to pay a total of $150 million to support the cleanup work and resolve their liability for discharging hazardous substances into the Lower Passaic River, which is part of the Diamond Alkali Superfund site. This consent decree is open for a 90-day public comment period and is available for review on the Justice Department website. Additional information is available on EPA’s Diamond Alkali Superfund Profile Page under “Site Documents & Data”.

See the press release in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Community Involvement Plan [October 2022]

EPA has finalized the Community Involvement Plan (CIP) for the Upper 9 miles of the Lower Passaic River Study Area. The CIP was developed to encourage community involvement and to facilitate communication between EPA and community members, environmental groups, government officials, the media, and other parties interested in the site and cleanup actions at the site. This CIP provides the backbone of the community involvement program and serves as a useful resource that the cleanup team can turn to for advice on appropriate activities for community involvement. This CIP will serve as a roadmap for EPA in providing opportunities to share information with the public and to receive input during the interim and final cleanup action design and cleanup. It will be updated, as needed, to ensure opportunities for meaningful public participation continue throughout the interim cleanup action and beyond. This CIP is focused to fit the communication needs associated with the cleanup of the upper 9 miles of the LPRSA. It is structured to provide the reader with a high-level understanding of the work being done and to share EPA’s plans for keeping the community engaged and aware.

The CIP is available here.

EPA’s Frequently Asked Questions about the Sediment Processing Facility or Facilities [October 2021]

The cleanup plans for the lower 8.3 miles and upper 9 miles of the Passaic River call for dredging contaminated sediments from the river, which need to be processed at a sediment treatment facility or facilities. This fact sheet, located here, answers frequently asked questions such as what a sediment treatment facility is, where it might be located, and how community health and safety will be protected.

Record of Decision (ROD) for the Upper 9 Miles of the Lower Passaic River [September 2021]

EPA has finalized its decision on an interim cleanup plan for the sediment of the upper 9 miles of the Lower Passaic River that addresses sediment acting as a source of contamination for the Lower Passaic River Study Area, which is the lower 17 miles of the river.

The interim cleanup plan, called a Record of Decision, includes dredging approximately 387,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment over approximately 96 acres from river mile 8.3 to the Dundee Dam. Contaminated sediment will be dredged to the depth(s) necessary to construct a sediment cap that does not diminish water depth or exacerbate flooding both under current conditions and considering climate change impacts.

After dredging, an engineered cap will be placed to prevent contamination in the sediment from entering the water column and fish tissue. Dredged sediment will be dewatered locally and transported off-site for disposal. Once the sediment is dredged and the cap placed, the water column, fish tissue, and sediment will be monitored to determine the final remedy for the river. The estimated cost of the remedy is $441 million.

The Record of Decision, including a Responsiveness Summary containing all of EPA’s responses to public comments on the cleanup proposal, is available here.

The English version of the Final Plan Fact Sheet is available here.

The Spanish version of the Final Plan Fact Sheet is available here.

A copy of the news release is available here.

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