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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Project News

EPA Reviews Cleanup at Diamond Alkali Superfund Site [September 2015]

EPA is conducting its 4th Five-Year Review of the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site located at 80 and 120 Lister Ave in Newark, NJ. This review seeks to confirm that the cleanup conducted at the site, which included construction of flood and slurry walls, placement of an engineered cap, and pumping and treating of groundwater, protects public health and the environment and functions as intended by the site decision documents. EPA will review site operation, maintenance and monitoring information as well as the status of land use controls.

EPA welcomes community input about this site, especially any concerns about the implemented cleanup. Written correspondence should be emailed before November 13, 2015 to the EPA Project Manager for the site listed below. Once the five-year review is completed, the results will be made available on this website.

What is an EPA Five-Year Review? EPA inspects Superfund sites every five years to ensure that cleanups conducted remain fully protective of human health and the environment. These regular reviews, which are required by federal law when contaminants remain at a site, include:

  • Inspection of the site and cleanup technologies;
  • Review of monitoring data, operating data, and maintenance records, and
  • Determination if any new regulatory requirements have been established since EPA’s original cleanup decision was finalized.

When will EPA’s Five-Year Review Report be available? A summary of activities and evaluation of the long-term protectiveness of the remedy will be included in the upcoming Five-Year Review report. It is anticipated that the Five-Year Review report will be available by June 2016 at www.ourpassaic.org.

For More Information: See the folder named “80-120 Lister Ave (OU1) 5-Year Review” in the Digital Library, which includes the data tables.

If you have any questions about the 5-Year Review, please contact Elizabeth Butler, EPA Project Manager, at butler.elizabeth@epa.gov.

Seventy Companies Reach Agreement with EPA to Remove Highly Contaminated Mud from a Section of the Lower Passaic River

The EPA announced on June 18, 2012 that it has reached agreement with 70 companies considered potentially responsible for contamination of the lower Passaic River to remove approximately 16,000 cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment from a half-mile long area of the Passaic River in Lyndhurst, New Jersey at their expense. Please click here to see the press release.

A copy of the agreement can be found here:

The US Army Corps of Engineers is preparing a Focused Ecosystem Restoration Plan (FERP) for the Lower 8 Miles of the Passaic River and Tributaries as a companion to the USEPA Focused Feasibility Study outlining potential remedial action alternatives for the Lower 8 Miles. Click here to download a copy of the restoration opportunities that have been identified to date which include existing data about the site, a proposed conceptual restoration plan and the Target Ecosystem Characteristics (TECs) that can be implemented within the footprint. The TECs that could be advanced at each site will advance the overall goals and targets outlined in the Hudson Raritan Estuary Comprehensive Restoration Plan. If you have comments, input to existing opportunities and/or new opportunities, please contact Lisa Baron at lisa.a.baron@usace.army.mil

Lyndhurst Recreational Fields Sampling Results [March 2012]:

As part of a study of the Lower Passaic River being conducted by the Cooperating Parties Group, under EPA oversight, a detailed characterization of a mudflat adjacent to Riverside County Park in Lyndhurst found relatively high concentrations of dioxins/furans, PCBs, mercury and other contaminants. EPA collected samples of surface soil from Riverside Park at the end of January 2012 to look into whether dioxins, PCBs and mercury may have been carried into the park by periodic flooding. The results show that the measured concentrations of dioxins, PCBs and mercury present in soil are well below levels of concern. Based on its analysis, EPA does not plan on further sampling of the park's recreational areas and deems that cleanup actions on soil in the park are not warranted in this instance. The sampling report is posted on the Agency’s Diamond Alkali web site here (click on "Additional Documents").

Restoration Opportunities Identified for the Lower 8 Miles and Tributaries of the Lower Passaic River: Now Available for Review

Lower Passaic River Flood Mud Sampling Results Released [November 2011]:

Flooding of athletic fields along the Passaic River following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to collect samples of soil and sediment in late September at four locations in North Arlington and Lyndhurst, New Jersey. EPA proactively undertook an assessment to determine potential health impacts at these sites. Soil samples were collected from these recreational fields to screen for the presence of dioxins, furans and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Sampling was done out of an abundance of caution in connection with the on-going study of contaminated sediments in the Lower Passaic River. The results show that the measured concentrations of dioxins and PCBs in soil are below levels of concern. Fact sheet and the final report are available here (click on "Additional Documents").

Construction Begins for the First Phase of the Passaic River Cleanup

Tierra Solutions, Inc. began mobilization and site preparation activities at the Diamond Alkali site for the Phase 1 Removal Action on July 12, 2011. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers will oversee the work which will take place in 2011 and 2012 at two locations. About 40,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment will be removed from within a sheet pile enclosure adjacent to the Diamond Alkali site, piped to an upland processing facility one quarter mile downstream on Blanchard Street, dewatered, and loaded in sealed containers for transport off-site for disposal. For a schedule, go to "Removal" under "Project Activities". Click here for a link to the Interim Final Community Health and Safety Plan.

Lower Passaic River Flood Mud Sampling Results Released [November 2011]:

Flooding of athletic fields along the Passaic River following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to collect samples of soil and sediment in late September at four locations in North Arlington and Lyndhurst, New Jersey. EPA proactively undertook an assessment to determine potential health impacts at these sites. Soil samples were collected from these recreational fields to screen for the presence of dioxins, furans and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Sampling was done out of an abundance of caution in connection with the on-going study of contaminated sediments in the Lower Passaic River. The results show that the measured concentrations of dioxins and PCBs in soil are below levels of concern. Fact sheet and the final report are available here (click on "Additional Documents").

First Phase of Passaic River Cleanup Set to Begin

EPA and Tierra Solutions, Inc have developed a fact sheet detailing the locations and activities of the Phase 1 Removal Action work that is scheduled to begin in July and last through the end of 2012. Included in the fact sheet are the community hotline numbers in English, Spanish and Portuguese and a flow diagram of all of the elements of the work. Click here for the fact sheet.

Surface Sediment Chemical Analyses and Benthic Invertebrate Toxicity and Bioaccumulation Testing Quality Assurance Project Plan [October 2009]

This report provides detailed procedures for conducting the second biota sampling events, which will focus on surface sediments and benthic invertebrates. It includes information such as the sample locations and numbers, the sampling techniques that will be utilized, and the laboratories and methods that will be used to analyze the samples. The plan is consistent with the overall roadmap presented in the Problem Formulation Document, which was prepared for the 17-mile RI/FS (July 2009). The data will be used to prepare the human health and ecological risk assessments. Click here to download the report.

Fish/Decapod Tissue Chemistry Analysis and Fish Community Survey Quality Assurance Project Plan [August 2009]

This report provides detailed procedures for conducting the first of the biota sampling events, which will focus on fish and decapods. It includes information such as the sample locations and numbers, the sampling techniques that will be utilized, and the laboratories and methods that will be used to analyze the samples. The plan is consistent with the overall roadmap presented in the Problem Formulation Document which was prepared for the 17-mile RI/FS (July 2009). The data will be used to prepare the human health and ecological risk assessments. Click here to download the report.

Updated Lower Passaic River Commercial Navigation Analysis [December 2008]

This document presents the current status of commercial navigation use on the Lower Passaic River. The draft of this report (March 2007) was presented in Appendix F in the Draft Source Control Early Action Focused Feasibility Study (June 2007). The updated report incorporated additional information from two data sets obtained from the IWR Waterborne Commerce Statistics including: (1) general trends from 1980 to 2006 and (2) current berth by berth uses of the waterway for the most recent ten years available (1997-2006). The analysis presents a qualitative evaluation of commodities, tonnage, and loaded drafts for all active berths. The August 2008 Conditions Survey was used to present average and controlling depths for each authorized reach of the federal navigation channel. To review this report, please click here.

Vegetation Sampling, Wetland Delineation, and Bio-Benchmark Report [December 2008] and Plant Resource Document [October 2008]

The USACE conducted vegetation studies at selected sites along the Lower Passaic River (Brackish, Transitional, and Freshwater sections), tributaries of the river and at reference sites during fall 2007 and spring 2008. Wetland delineations and bio-benchmarking were also conducted at select locations. The Vegetation Sampling Report documents the methods and findings of the sampling events. The vegetation sampling results were used for the preparation of a Plant Resource Document, which provides a comprehensive list of plant species, recommended plantings zones, planting windows, and habitat recommendations to be restored. Both of these documents provide information that will aid in future restoration sampling and planning efforts for the Study. To review the Vegetation Sampling Report, click here and to review the Plant Resource Document, click here.

Draft Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan for Comment

NOAA and USFWS announce the availability of a draft Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan for public comment. The Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan is one step in the damage assessment process. It serves to document exposure of natural resources to hazardous substances and identify anticipated procedures for evaluating natural resource injuries potentially caused by such exposure. Click here to download the plan.

EPA Enters Into Agreement

EPA has entered into an administrative agreement with 73 potentially responsible parties (known as the "Cooperating Parties") for those parties to take over the Superfund portion of the joint Passaic River study (i.e., the remedial investigation and feasibility study). The Cooperating Parties will perform the study under EPA oversight, except for limited work that EPA is continuing to perform to develop a focused feasibility study and possibly select an early action. EPA will also continue to coordinate the Superfund portion of the study with the restoration study that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is performing with New Jersey Department of Transportation as local sponsor.
Passaic Settlement Press Release
Administrative Order on Consent
Administrative Order on Consent Scope of Work

Second Municipality Workshop Held

A second workshop for municipalities was held on July 12, 2007 in Newark, bringing together municipalities in the lower 8 miles of the Passaic River and in the Newark Bay area with federal-state partner agencies to discuss possibilities for integrating municipality plans and visions with federal-state cleanup and restoration projects. This workshop was a follow-up to the April 18, 2007 municipality workshop. Click here to find out more about the meeting by reading the work shop summary.

Workshop Held to Discuss Integration of Municipality Plans & Visions with Federal-State Cleanup & Restoration Projects

A municipalities workshop was held on April 18, 2007 in Newark, bringing together municipalities throughout the lower Passaic River and Newark Bay with federal-state partner agencies and key stakeholder groups to discuss possibilities for integrating municipality plans and visions with federal-state cleanup and restoration projects.

The partner agencies provided the more than 75 in attendance with an opportunity to initiate or continue a dialogue between waterfront municipalities and federal-state agencies. Discussions also took place on how to continue the coordination of municipal redevelopment activities with agency cleanup and restoration work. You can find out more about the meeting by reading the workshop summary.

Second Passaic River Symposium: Progress & Challenges
Held at Montclair State University; October 13, 2006

Organized by the Passaic River Institute of Montclair State University and the Hudson-Delaware Chapter, Society for Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, the Second Passaic River Symposium attracted 300 participants, a capacity crowd, to discuss activities in the Passaic River Basin. Participants and presenters gauged what progress has been made in addressing problems in the Basin, what new efforts have been launched, and what new challenges we still face. The "Lower Passaic River Restoration Project" was prominently featured in the 2006 Symposium. Projects and issues in the upper River and tributary watersheds were also examined.

Click here for the Symposium Web Site: Symposium Agenda, Registration Form and Program Flyer

DRAFT FIELD SAMPLING PLAN VOLUME 2 RELEASED

The partner agencies have completed a draft version of Field Sampling Plan (FSP) Volume 2 for the Lower Passaic River Restoration Project. Click here for the full Draft FSP Volume 2 (65 MB) or here for a smaller file that does not include the figures (6 MB). This planning document represents an interagency effort to collect ecological and biological data that are necessary for the evaluation of restoration opportunities and components of the human health and ecological risk assessments. The Draft FSP Volume 2 will be the subject of a combined Restoration Workgroup and Sampling Workgroup Meeting that is currently being scheduled. Further details will be announced as they become available.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT PLAN FINALIZED

The partner agencies have prepared and completed the Community Involvement Plan (CIP) for the Lower Passaic River Restoration Project and Newark Bay Study. It creates a blueprint for public involvement over the life of the project.

The commitment of the partner agencies to active and open public involvement forms the basis of this document. The CIP provides a toolbox of options for keeping the public informed and for soliciting input. As a living document for a dynamic project, the CIP will be reviewed annually, and updated as needed to reflect project progress and changes to community needs, concerns, issues, and contacts.

Click here for the Final Community Involvement Plan (Due to the large size of the file, downloading may take a few minutes).

For more information about the CIP or public involvement, contact:
David Kluesner, Public Affairs
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (212) 637-3653
Fax: (212) 637-4445
Email: kluesner.dave@epa.gov

Progress of Interim Action Evaluation

On May 24, 2006 a remedial options work group held a meeting to discuss the progress of an evaluation of possible early actions to clean the Lower Passaic River. Click here for a pdf copy of the presentation.

The Future Is Now.

EPA Demonstrates Bold, New Technology That Turns Contaminated Sediment into Useable Soil

On March 24, 2006, EPA hosted an event in Woodbridge, New Jersey demonstrating an exciting new technology that takes contaminated sediment and turns it into high quality top soil. This soil washing process is patented by BioGenesis Enterprises, Inc., and has been used to treat approximately 2,269 cubic yards of sediment from the Passaic River. This project is being conducted through the USEPA/NJDOT NY/NJ Sediment Decontamination Program.

Click here to read the entire story and here to see photos of the process.

 

Lower Passaic Environmental Dredging Pilot Successfully Completed

On December 5, 2005 New Jersey DOT, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched a dredging and sediment decontamination pilot of a complexity never before conducted during an on-going feasibility study. Despite the brutal winter conditions on the river, the partner agencies achieved their dredging goal of removing close to 5,000 cubic yards of sediment. Three feet of sediments contaminated with PCBs, mercury, metals and dioxin, among others, were removed from the bottom of the Passaic River in a 1.5 acre area adjacent to downtown Newark. Some of the world's finest technical experts were brought to bear on this effort. It began a two-part evaluation of environmental dredging and sediment decontamination technologies that will include the collection of data on environmental dredging technology performance, productivity, re-suspension and treatability of contaminated sediments. The pilot project even made the cover of the December 2005 edition of WORLD DREDGING Mining and Construction. (Click here for cover)
Click here to read Article
Click here to read Press Release
Click here to read Fact Sheet
Click here to read the World Dredging article

 

Original EPA Agreements with Cooperating Parties Group (CPG):

EPA entered into an agreement in 2004 with a group of potentially responsible parties (known as the Cooperating Parties Group or CPG) for them to provide money for EPA to study the Lower Passaic River. That agreement was modified in 2005 and 2007 to add companies to the group and money to the study