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Friday, September 30, 2022

80 and 120 Lister Avenue Site Background

Operable Unit No. 1 (OU1) of the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site consists of two properties located at 80 and 120 Lister Avenue, adjacent to the Lower Passaic River in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey. The two properties total approximately 5.8 acres and have been designated as OU1. The Diamond Alkali facility was used for manufacturing by numerous industrial companies for over 100 years. From the mid-1940s to 1969, activities at 80 Lister Avenue included chemical and pesticides manufacturing. Operations at the site and an explosion in 1960 caused contamination of soils, sediments and groundwater. Dioxin, pesticides and other hazardous substances have been found in the soil at 80 Lister Avenue and, to a lesser extent, at 120 Lister Avenue. All manufacturing operations at the site ceased in 1983.

An interim remedy for OU1 was selected and documented in a September 30, 1987 Record of Decision (ROD). The OU1 properties are currently fenced and have an electronic, automated security system. Contaminated soils and debris are contained within the fenced area under an impermeable cap and within a slurry trench groundwater cutoff wall. A groundwater withdrawal and treatment system maintains a hydraulic gradient intended to prevent the migration of groundwater from within the slurry wall. Current use of the property includes ongoing operations and maintenance activities associated with the interim remedy. There is a deed notice for OU1 to provide notice of conditions at the properties and to protect the interim remedy.

National Remedy Review Board (NRRB) Review

The EPA Administrator established the NRRB as one of the October 1995 Superfund Administrative Reforms to help control response costs and promote consistent and cost-effective remedy decisions. The purpose of the Board is to review proposed cleanup decisions to help evaluate whether they are consistent with current law, regulations, and Agency guidance. The NRRB’s intent is to provide support to the Regional Site Team in developing a robust conceptual site model, a comprehensive risk assessment, and a range of remedial alternatives while developing the Administrative Record (AR) to support remedy selection.

The EPA RPM for Diamond Alkali OU1 provided a summary presentation to the NRRB on the status of interim remedy evaluation activities in June 2021. The NRRB’s Board Review Team for the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site subsequently conducted a review of the remedial alternatives considered for OU1. The Board Review Team’s advisory recommendations and advisory considerations are documented in this memo dated September 10, 2021. EPA Region 2’s responses to the NRRB memo are provided in this document dated October 21, 2021.

Five Year Review Report

The purpose of a five-year review (FYR) is to evaluate the implementation and performance of a remedy in order to determine if the remedy is and will continue to be protective of human health and the environment. The methods, findings, and conclusions of remedy reviews are documented in FYR reports. In addition, FYR reports identify issues found during the review, if any, and document recommendations to address them. The most recent Five Year Review Report for OU1 can be obtained here.