Over 18,000 tons of contaminated soil removed from New Jersey

In fewer than six months, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) turned an abandoned piece of property, located just across the street from private homes in the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey, into a parcel of land that no longer poses a threat to the surrounding community. EPA’s regional administrator, Alan J. Steinberg, was joined by City of Newark mayor, Cory Booker, as well as councilman Augusto Amador at the Tidewater Baling site, to mark the culmination of EPA’s cleanup efforts.

“The story of Tidewater Baling conveys the spirit of EPA’s Superfund program,” said Steinberg. “In a very short time, we addressed the immediate threats at the site and made sure it was safe for the community; we are now ready to hand it back to the City of Newark.”

The Tidewater Baling site is a 2.5-acre parcel of land that is mixed in among industrial facilities, commercial properties and residences. Sampling done by EPA at the site revealed elevated levels of heavy metals, and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in the soil. Last March, EPA began a large-scale clean up of contaminated surface soil at the site and has spent over $5 million on the effort. By the end of the clean up, approximately 15,000 tons of lead-contaminated soil and 3,000 tons of PCB-contaminated soil will have been excavated and removed. The excavated areas have been backfilled with a one-foot deep layer of crushed stone. Additionally, EPA demolished two abandoned buildings that were on the site, and shipped the building debris off-site. EPA also dismantled and shipped off-site remnants of large metal structures that had been used in the baling process. EPA will complete the last of its cleanup work and will hand this site over to Newark.