EPA Extends Public Comment Period On Raritan Bay Superfund Site Cleanup Plan

NEW YORK, N.Y.– The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is extending by 30 days the public comment period for the plan it has proposed to clean up lead contamination at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site in Old Bridge and Sayreville. Lead is a toxic metal that is especially dangerous to children because their growing bodies can absorb more of it than adults. Even at low levels, lead in children can result in I.Q. deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, reduced attention spans, hyperactivity and other behavioral problems.

For both the Laurence Harbor seawall and the western jetty areas, contaminated soil, sediment and waste including slag and battery casings will be dug up or dredged and the material will be disposed at facilities licensed to handle hazardous waste. Excavated areas will be restored with clean fill. Within the Margaret’s Creek sector, the EPA is proposing to remove slag and battery casings, along with areas of contaminated soil associated with these materials. Clean fill will be placed as needed in the excavated areas. Throughout the cleanup, monitoring and testing will be conducted to ensure that public health and the environment are protected.

The EPA held a public meeting on Oct. 17 to explain the proposed plan. In order to allow more time for the public to comment, the EPA is extending the public comment period from its original date of Oct. 29 to Nov. 27.

The Raritan Bay Slag site consists of three sectors that contain lead slag, a byproduct of metal smelting. This lead slag was used to construct a seawall and a jetty along the southern shore of the Raritan Bay in Old Bridge and Sayreville. The first sector is the Laurence Harbor seawall, adjacent to the Old Bridge Waterfront Park in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge Township. The second sector consists of the western jetty in Sayreville and extends from the Cheesequake Creek Inlet into Raritan Bay. The third sector is Margaret’s Creek and is approximately 50 acres and has elevated lead levels along with areas of slag and battery casings. The EPA proposed plan will address contamination in all three sectors. NL Industries has been identified as potentially liable for the cost of cleanup.

For a history of the cleanup, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/raritanbayslag/.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:

Tanya Mitchell, Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 2
290 Broadway – 19th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007-1866
(212) 637-4362

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