Toxic NJ Waste Site Set for EPA Cleanup

The $79 million cleanup comes after the bay was hit hard by Sandy

The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Friday for a $79 million cleanup of a toxic waste site on the Raritan Bay.

EPA officials made the announcement at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund site in Old Bridge, where blast furnaces dumped lead and other chemicals into the soil in the 1960s and 70s. The site was put on the EPA's Superfund priorities list in 2009 after high levels of lead were found in the soil.

The Raritan Bay took a major hit from Superstorm Sandy last fall, and the Superfund site suffered damage to a large section of seawall. According to Pallone's office, the EPA sampled the sand for lead in over 100 locations within the site, including at a playground and a closed-off beach. Lead concentrations above the allowable residential level were detected.

"Cleaning this site will be a positive force for the local economy, creating jobs and, once finished, yielding a safe public park and beach for all to enjoy," Rep. Frank Pallone said Friday. "I commend EPA for their hard work on this site despite the potential for serious setbacks due to damage done by Hurricane Sandy."

Pallone announced Friday that he has reintroduced a bill to restore a tax on oil and gas companies that would replenish a federal fund used to clean up toxic waste sites.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us