Riverside Industrial Park
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Sophia Kelley – (212) 637-3670
The Riverside Industrial Park site was added to the National Priorities List of the country's most hazardous waste sites in May 2013. The approximately seven-acre site is located on the banks of the Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey and contains a variety of industrial buildings, some of which are vacant. In 2009, a spill of oily material into the Passaic River was reported and traced back to a pipe on the property. The EPA investigated and discovered that chemicals including benzene, mercury, chromium and arsenic were improperly stored at the site. The agency took immediate actions to prevent further release of these chemicals into the river by plugging discharge pipes and removing the tanks responsible for the spill.
In assessing the site, the EPA discovered multiple threats including numerous storage tanks, both above and below ground, containing a variety of hazardous industrial wastes and solvents. Two underground tanks and most of the other containers were removed by the EPA in 2012. However, further study revealed that soil, ground water and storage tanks at the site are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Volatile organic compounds are probable human carcinogens and PCBs are potential cancer-causing chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems of people and animals. These risks are being assessed and the EPA will determine what additional work is needed in order to reduce or eliminate potential threats from the site.
Since the early 1900s, the Riverside Industrial Park has been used by many businesses, including a paint manufacturer, a packaging company and a chemical warehouse. Although this is currently an active industrial park, several portions of the property are abandoned and owned by the City of Newark through foreclosures.