SAYREVILLE—The plan for the last stage of cleanup at two Superfund sites in Middlesex County, New Jersey has been finalized, paving the way for the cleanup work to be completed, officials said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized its plan for the third and final stage of cleanup at the Horseshoe Road site and the adjoining Atlantic Resources Corporation (ARC) site, which are located on the south shore of the Raritan River. Both sites are contaminated with a variety of chemicals, which have entered drainage channels that run off into an 8-acre marsh adjacent to the Raritan River. EPA’s cleanup plan calls for dredging and excavating contaminated marsh and river sediments, disposing of them off site, and backfilling excavated or dredged areas with clean sediments.
“Addressing the marsh and sediments of the Raritan River that have been contaminated by these two sites is the next step in this extensive cleanup process,” said George Pavlou, acting regional administrator. “This final phase can now begin and we are eager to get started on this work that will surely be for the betterment of the community of Sayreville and Central Jersey.”
The Horseshoe Road site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1995 and the ARC site was placed on the list in 2002. While they are considered separate sites on the basis of past disposal activities, their proximity and commingled wastes have led EPA to address the sites jointly.
The Horseshoe Road site consists of three areas, including the Sayreville Pesticide Dump (SPD), the Horseshoe Road Drum Dump (HRDD), and the former Atlantic Development Corporation (ADC) facility. Both the SPD area and the HRDD area were used from the 1950s to the early 1980s for disposal of some materials produced on the property. The ADC facility contained three buildings that were owned or leased by many companies from the early 1950s to the early 1980s. The various operations over time included the production of roofing materials, sealants, polymers, urethane and epoxy resins, resin pigments, wetting agents, pesticide intermediates and recycled chlorinated solvents.
The adjacent ARC site is approximately a 4.5-acre property, also located on Horseshoe Road, and was home to a precious metals recovery facility, which contained several interconnected buildings and structures, including a series of incinerators used for precious metals recovery. The facility recovered gold and silver from fly ash, circuit boards, x-ray and photographic film and also accepted spent solvents. All commercial operations at the ARC site ceased in the early 1980s.
Since 1985, when EPA took the lead in the cleanup at the request of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), the Agency has done a great deal of work, including removing more than 3,000 drums, cleaning up dioxin and mercury spills and excavating and disposing of contaminated soil and debris.
EPA has addressed the contamination at the two sites in phases. In the first phase, buildings and above-ground structures at the ADC and the ARC properties were demolished and removed from the site. The second phase began last year and in this stage of the cleanup, contaminated soil, which has been found to be the source of the ground water contamination at the site, will be excavated and disposed of off-site. Through this action, contaminated soil and the source of ground water contamination will be addressed.
In the third and final part of the cleanup, contaminated sediments in the marsh and river will be addressed. Arsenic, mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are the primary contaminants that have been found in sediments in the marsh and in the Raritan River. By addressing marsh sediments, the cleanup would also be addressing a continuing source of contamination to the river.
EPA, in consultation with the NJDEP, selected the final remedy for this third phase of the cleanup after reviewing and considering all comments submitted during a 30-day public comment period, which ended August 20, 2008.
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