Nov 03, 2009

EPA Adds Raritan Bay Site to Nation’s Superfund List

Site consists of areas with lead-contaminated material

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed the Raritan Bay Slag site in Sayreville and Old Bridge Township, N.J., to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The listing enables the EPA to continue an investigation into the extent of contamination at the Raritan Bay Slag site and to take the proper measures to address the contamination.

The Raritan Bay Slag site consists of areas with lead-contaminated material, including slag and pieces of battery casings. At this point, identified areas include two areas that contain contaminated slag material used to construct a seawall and a jetty along the southern shore of the Raritan Bay in Old Bridge Township and Sayreville, as well as areas of Margaret’s Creek in Old Bridge. The first location is on the Laurence Harbor seawall, which is adjacent to the Old Bridge Waterfront Park in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge Township. The second section consists of the western jetty in Sayreville and extends from the Cheesequake Creek Inlet into Raritan Bay. The third area is approximately 50 acres associated with Margaret’s Creek where elevated lead levels have been identified.

The EPA’s Removal Action Branch erected public warning notices in both English and Spanish in the areas of concern, warning of the threat posed by the elevated levels of lead. Additionally, security fencing has been installed to restrict access. Reconnaissance operations along the shoreline of the Arthur Kill, Raritan River and lower portions of Staten Island were completed by the U.S. Coast Guard this spring to identify other areas that could have potentially been affected by the slag. Listing to the NPL enables the EPA to continue in a rigorous and extensive investigation into the extent of the contamination and the most effective way to deal with it.

To date, there have been 1,610 sites listed on the NPL. Of these sites, 340 sites have been deleted resulting in 1,270 sites currently on the NPL (including the three new sites added in the recent rulemaking). There are 63 proposed sites awaiting final agency action: 58 in the general Superfund section and five in the federal facilities section. There are a total of 1,333 final and proposed sites.