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Newark Superfund site one step closer to full remediation

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded the public comment period on its proposed cleanup plan for a Superfund site along the Passaic River in Newark. The EPA’s Superfund program exists to provide funding and support for the remediation of some of the nation’s most contaminated properties. The Riverside Industrial Park Superfund site in Newark was placed on the National Priorities list in 2013.

This Newark Superfund site spans 7.6 acres and has historically been used for a spectrum of different business operations including chemical and cosmetics manufacturing. In 2009, two storage tanks in the basement of a vacant building discharged oil into the Passaic River running adjacent to the site. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) responded initially, and the EPA became involved shortly thereafter. The initial investigations led to the discovery of multiple potential immediate threats, including several abandoned industrial-sized underground storage tanks. The DEP and EPA worked together taking multiple short-term actions between 2009 and 2014 to eliminate immediate threats to human health and the environment.

The Superfund also allows the EPA to identify the “Potentially Responsible Parties” for each site and forces the parties responsible to either perform clean-ups or reimburse the government for EPA- led cleanups. The EPA has identified 18 “Potentially Responsible Parties” in relation to the Riverside Industrial Park site. The EPA plans on responding to public comments and finalizing the remediation plan before the end of May 2021, with the cleanup hopefully commencing shortly thereafter.

You can read more about the EPA’s Superfund program here: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/what-superfund and more about the Riverside Industrial Park site here: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0204232

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