Feds Planning to Delist North NJ Superfund Site

Of the 1,304 Superfund sites nationwide, 112 are in New Jersey — the most of any state.

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    Federal officials say a six-acre plot in northern New Jersey that was once contaminated with radioactive thorium will soon be removed from the nation's Superfund list.
    The former W.R. Grace and Co. site in Wayne, unused since 1971, underwent $125 million in cleanup efforts over 20 years.

    The Record newspaper reports that officials in the Passaic County community plan to turn the site into a dog park and playground. It had been on the Superfund list for nearly three decades.
    "We are moving to delist the site because cleanup is finished and ongoing monitoring has found that it poses no significant threat to public health," said Bonnie Bellow, spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 2, which includes New Jersey. "Now we are seeking public comment on that decision."
    From 1948 to 1971, the W.R. Grace site was used to extract thorium and other elements from monazite ore. Initially, the property was owned by another firm, and thorium was used in the manufacture of gas lanterns.
    Grace ceased operations at the site in 1971 and decontaminated the property in 1974 to the standards in place at the time.
    But an aerial survey conducted by the state in 1980 showed elevated radiation levels there and other nearby sites. That discovery and subsequent surveys prompted the EPA to add the site to the Superfund list.
    Of the 1,304 Superfund sites nationwide, 112 are in New Jersey — the most of any state.

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