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Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Project Meetings

The next Passaic River Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting will be on January 10, 2019 at 6:00 PM, at a location to be determined. Presentations from previous meetings are posted in the Digital Library, under Public Outreach Documents, Public Outreach\Community Advisory Group. Please contact Shereen Kandil with any questions at 212-637-4333 or kandil.shereen@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

EPA CSTAG Makes Recommendations on Upper 9 Mile Interim Action [June 2018]

EPA’s Contaminated Sediments Technical Advisory Group (CSTAG) made recommendations on a proposed Upper 9-Mile Interim Action following a meeting with EPA Region 2 and key stakeholders in March. Their comments and the Region 2 response are posted on the CSTAG web site (exiting ourPassaic.org), in the “Diamond Alkali – Lower Passaic River, Newark, New Jersey” section.

New Community Involvement Plan Finalized [August 2017]

The Community Involvement Plan for the Lower Passaic River has been revised to focus on upcoming work in the lower 8.3 miles of the Passaic River. The plan provides an overview of outreach tools and techniques that the EPA uses to share information and involve the public during the cleanup process. Please see the final plan here.

EPA Secures Agreement with Occidental Chemical to Conduct the Design Work for the Lower 8.3 Mile Cleanup [October 2016]

EPA announced a legal agreement with Occidental Chemical Corporation to perform design work needed to begin the cleanup of the lower 8.3 miles of the Lower Passaic River. This work, which includes sampling, evaluating technologies and doing the engineering work necessary before physical cleanup work can begin, will be done under EPA oversight. The design work is estimated to cost approximately $165 million. Occidental Chemical will also pay for EPA’s oversight costs. The press release is available here. The legal agreement is available here.

EPA Finalizes Protectiveness Review of Cleanup at Diamond Alkali Superfund Site [June 2016]

EPA has completed the 4th Five-Year Review of the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site located at 80 and 120 Lister Ave in Newark, NJ. This review confirmed 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 reviewed site operation, maintenance and monitoring information as well as the status of land use controls in making this determination.

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.

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

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.

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