Raritan Bay Slag
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Pat Seppi- (212) 637-3679
The Raritan Bay Slag Site is located in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge and in Sayreville, Middlesex County, New Jersey. The Laurence Harbor seawall, which makes up part of the site, was reported to have had metal slag from blast furnace bottoms deposited along the beachfront in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Approximately 2,500 feet of the seawall have been contaminated. Elevated levels of lead, antimony, arsenic and copper have been identified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) along the seawall near the area where the processing by-products were deposited. While site investigations were being conducted another area of concern was identified on the Sayreville waterfront. This area consists of the western jetty at the Cheesequake Creek inlet and waterfront area. At the request of the NJDEP, EPA evaluated the Raritan Bay Slag site for a short term cleanup action under the federal Superfund program.
In 2007, the NJDEP found high levels of lead along the southern shoreline of the Raritan Bay adjacent to the Old Bridge Waterfront Park. As a result of these findings, NJDEP worked with Old Bridge officials to notify the public about health concerns stemming from the lead waste material and restricted access through signs and some fencing. The EPA added the Raritan Bay Slag site to the federal Superfund site list in 2009 after sampling confirmed contamination. The EPA installed a security fence in contaminated areas to keep people, especially children, out of those areas and placed signs in English and Spanish warning the public of the hazards.
Remedial Investigation field activities were conducted from September 2010 through June 2011. Results showed significantly elevated levels of lead in the slag, soil, sediment, and surface water.
In September 2012 EPA released a Proposed Plan for the site which identified EPA’s preferred cleanup plan. Public comment on the preferred cleanup plan concluded on November 27, 2012. The preferred cleanup plan included, among other things, excavation/dredging and off-site disposal. Slag, battery casings and associated wastes and contaminated and highly impacted soils and sediment above the cleanup level would be excavated and/or dredged and disposed of at appropriate off-site facilities. Surface water monitoring would be performed to confirm that there are no increased risks due to removal activities.