Asbestos removal paves way for recreation complex
Under the oversight of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection,
a developer has completed the removal of 42,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated
soils from industrial properties in Berkeley Heights, clearing the way for
development of a new recreation complex for the community.
"The DEP was instrumental in focusing the developer and local officials
on cleanup strategies for this site, thereby facilitating the complete removal
of contaminated materials," Commissioner Lisa Jackson said. "As
a result, local residents will benefit by getting a first-rate community
center on land that had been unproductive."
Site developer Robbinsbrook LLC recently completed the $6.5 million project,
removing soil contaminated with asbestos and petroleum hydrocarbons from
the former Shaw Plastics and Barry Fuel properties. The materials were disposed
in out-of-state landfills. Using DEP guidelines, the developer also determined
that about half the materials from demolished buildings were contaminated
with petroleum hydrocarbons and required landfill disposal.
Until 1952, American Asbestos operated a plant at the site of what would
become Shaw Plastics. It is believed that American Asbestos used asbestos
to fill in low-lying areas. In addition, numerous spills occurred at the
site of Barry Fuel, a petroleum products distributor.
a result of the completion of the cleanup, the DEP has issued a “no
further action determination,” certifying that the site meets the department's
unrestricted use criteria. Berkeley Heights and Union County plan to develop
the 18-acre property with sports fields, a community center, and a park.