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NPL Site Narrative for Montclair/West Orange Radium Site

Montclair, West Orange, New Jersey

Federal Register Notice:  February 14, 1985

Conditions at proposal (October 15, 1984): The Montclair/West Orange Radium Site is in two residential neighborhoods in Montclair and West Orange in Essex County, New Jersey. Radioactive material, believed to be radium-processing waste, was used as fill, resulting in unacceptable levels of radon gas and its decay products in a number of private residences. Approximately 50,000 cubic yards of contaminated material are scattered throughout a neighborhood covering about 1.0 square mile.

Several years ago, the State started to investigate a radium-processing facility in Orange that had ceased operation in the 1920s. The possibility of off-site disposal of processing waste prompted an aerial survey of surrounding areas for gamma radiation. In July 1983, the survey identified a number of homes with high levels of radon gas. About 80 people are immediately affected.

In December 1983, EPA started a major field investigation to define the perimeter of contamination and identify additional problem homes. Using CERCLA emergency funds, EPA installed ventilation systems in affected homes as a temporary corrective measure.

Status (February 14, 1985): This site, along with the Glen Ridge Radium Site, is being added to the NPL because it involves a serious problem that requires taking immediate remedial action.

In September 1985, EPA completed a remedial investigation/feasibility study. About 160 homes were identified as being affected in the site area. The results were announced at a public meeting in November 1985. EPA is scheduled to make its final decision on the remedy selected in April 1986.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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