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Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Project Meetings

The next Passaic River Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting will be on July 14, 2016 at 6:00 PM, location to be determined. Please contact Sophia Rini with any questions at 212-637-3670 or rini.sophia@epa.gov.

Fish and Shellfish Advisories

Alerto de Cangrejos de Tenazas Azules en la Region de la Bahia de Newark

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.

Click here for the NJDHSS Woman's Guide to Eating Fish and Seafood.

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

Record of Decision for the Lower 8.3 Miles of the Lower Passaic River [March 2016]

EPA has finalized its decision on a cleanup plan for the sediments of the lower 8.3 miles of the Lower Passaic River. The cleanup plan, called a Record of Decision, includes dredging approximately 3.5 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment bank to bank from Newark Bay to the Belleville/Newark border. After dredging, an engineered cap will be placed over the entire lower eight miles of the river. The cap will prevent contamination in the sediment from entering the food chain, thereby decreasing health risks to people who eat fish and crab from the lower Passaic. The dredging will prevent the cap from exacerbating flooding and will allow for current commercial navigation to continue in the 1.7 miles of the river closest to Newark Bay. Dredged sediment will be dewatered locally and transported off-site for disposal. The estimated cost of the remedy is $1.38 billion. The main text of the Record of Decision is available here. The rest of 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 Final Plan Fact Sheet is available here. The Final Plan Fact Sheet is available in Spanish and Portuguese in the Digital Library, under Public Outreach\Fact Sheets.

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.

Proposed Plan for the Lower 8 Miles of the Lower Passaic River Released for Public Comment [April 2014]

This Proposed Plan (document, fact sheet) describes options for cleaning up the highly contaminated sediments of the lower 8 miles of the Lower Passaic River and identifies the preferred cleanup option. It was developed by EPA in partnership with NJDEP, USACE, NOAA and USFWS.

The Proposed Plan was developed based on information contained in a Remedial Investigation Report and Focused Feasibility Study, which are available for review under the Lower 8 Mile Action page. These and other documents are also part of the publicly-available administrative record file located in the Newark and Elizabeth Public Libraries and at the EPA Region 2 office (addresses listed in the Proposed Plan). EPA encourages the public to review these documents to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the river and the Superfund activities that have been conducted on the river.

The public comment period on the cleanup options presented in the Proposed Plan closed on August 20, 2014. EPA is considering the comments received and will address them in the Responsiveness Summary section of the Record of Decision, which will document the final cleanup decision for the lower 8 miles. A link to the comments received is provided on the Lower 8 Mile Action page.

Final Design for removal of contaminated sediment from a mudflat in the Lyndhurst section of the Passaic River [November 2013]

Dredging of the removal area began on August 3, 2013 and was completed on October 4, 2013. Processing of the dredged material at the Clean Earth Dredge Technologies facility in Kearny, New Jersey was completed on October 18, and all dredged sediment and associated water was sent to approved out-of-state facilities for disposal. Mobilization for capping of the removal area began on November 5, and all site activities are expected to be complete by early 2014. All work is being overseen by EPA and its contractor. Below are links to the complete final design for the removal action, which is dated July 31, 2013. Note that this design has been approved by EPA except for Appendix J, which relates to the long-term operations and maintenance of the cap after it is in place. Appendix J will be posted when it is approved. If you have any questions about this portion of the work, please contact Stephanie Vaughn, EPA project manager, at vaughn.stephanie@epa.gov . In addition, please see the previous Project News update on this subject for more details of the work.

Removal Action Draft Final Design Report, Lower Passaic River Study Area
Design Figures
Appendix A Concentration Data
Appendix B Geotech Data
Appendix C Calculations
Appendix D Design Drawings
Appendix E Specs
Appendix F Project HASP
Appendix G Community HSP
Appendix H Bench-Scale Report
Appendix I Construction QC
Appendix K Project Schedule

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