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Wood-Ridge Borough, NJ

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Involvement Coordinator

Sophia Kelley – (212) 637-3670

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EPA added the Ventron/Velsicol site in Wood-Ridge Borough, New Jersey to the Superfund National Priorities List on September 1, 1984 because hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and ground water. The 40 acre superfund site located in Bergen County contained a chemical processing plant. Approximately 160 tons of process waste such as mercury may have been buried on the property.  Soils, sediments, surface water and groundwater are contaminated with mercury. Off-site sediments and surface water are also contaminated with mercury and other contaminants. Migration of site-related contaminants impacted the neighboring wetlands. The Ventron/Velsicol site is located in a densely populated and industrialized area. There are roughly 11,600 people living within a one mile radius of the site.

Discharges from the Ventron/Velsicol facility contaminated Berry’s Creek with mercury and other chemicals. Other facilities around the site may have contributed to the contamination of the creek and surrounding wetlands. Fish and other aquatic organisms were found to have high mercury levels in them. 

Sampling of surrounding areas led to the discovery of elevated mercury levels in soil at nine residential properties and one publicly owned tract.  Contaminated soils were removed from these properties and replaced with clean fill in the fall of 1990. The state of New Jersey investigated and determined the nature and extent of the site contamination.  A remedy was selected to address the site in October 2006 which calls for; excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil, capping of mercury contaminated soils, restrictions placed on contaminated properties, and the establishment of a clean buffer zone between capped areas and creeks or wetlands.  A barrier system will be installed to serve as a physical barrier to ground water flow and to encapsulate the areas of highest mercury concentrations under one of the buildings on site. Ground water use restriction will be put in place.  EPA is taking the lead on site investigation and addressing contamination in Berry’s Creek and its neighboring wetlands and water bodies. The site investigation is being conducted by parties potentially responsible for site contamination. EPA is overseeing their work.


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