• Document: NJ Harbor: Dredged Material Management (DMM) of Dioxin Contaminated Sediments
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PASSAIC RIVER COALITION www.passaicriver.org 330 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960 Phone: (973) 532-9830 Fax: (973) 889-9172 E-mail: PRCwater@aol.com AKruger@verizon.net Lower Passaic River, Newark Bay and NY/NJ Harbor: Dredged Material Management (DMM) of Dioxin Contaminated Sediments Prepared by Anne L. Kruger, Ph.D., Technical Advisor, Diamond Alkali Superfund Site (Lower Passaic River and Newark Bay) & Ella F. Filippone, Executive Administrator, Passaic River Coalition 27 April 2012 Technical Assistance: In 2004 the Passaic River Coalition was provided with a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help communities near the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site be informed and participate in decision making about cleaning up this site. Anne L. Kruger, Ph.D., was chosen as Technical Advisor because she has the scientific expertise that is required to understand and evaluate the interconnectedness of the many factors that impact the ecologic health and vitality of the Lower Passaic River Basin and New York Harbor estuary. For about half a century she has been involved in various ways in trying to clean up the environment of the New Jersey/New York area, with an emphasis on the reduction of pollution from hazardous wastes. Her doctoral dissertation was about a study of industrial waste generation and disposition in New Jersey. 1 Of all the sites in New Jersey and New York polluted by industrial wastes which she has studied, she finds that development of cleanup plans for the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site to be most challenging. Critical Need to Dredge The Lower Passaic River and Newark Bay are critical parts of the New York and New Jersey Harbor, a hub of economic activity since the start of the Industrial Revolution over two centuries ago, because these waters provide shipping access to the world. (See Figure 1. 2) Many of the industries which developed alongside the Passaic River and throughout the NY/NJ Harbor wanted easy access to shipping, but shipping sometimes requires that the navigation channels be dredged. Some of these industries left a legacy of contaminants in the sediments of these waters which persist today. Because of this pollution most of the Lower Passaic River has not been dredged since the 1940s. The navigation channels in the Lower Passaic River and Newark Bay that should be dredged are shown in Figure 2. 3 1 Kruger, A. L. 1982. Industrial Wastes: Generation and Disposition in New Jersey. PU/CEES Working Paper No. 55. Hazardous Waste Research Program, Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, School of Engineering/Applied Science, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. 2 Tierra Solutions, Inc. 2008. Phase I and Phase II Field and Data Report, Newark Bay Study Area Remedial Investigation. Phase I and Phase II Sediment Investigation Field and Data Report, Figure 1-1. 3 Tierra Solutions, Inc. 2008. Phase I and Phase II Field and Data Report, Newark Bay Study Area Remedial Investigation. Phase I and Phase II Sediment Investigation Field and Data Report, Figure 4-13. 1 Figure 1 – NY/NJ Harbor Region 2 Figure 2 – Navigation Channels in Lower Passaic River, Newark Bay Area 3 Figure 3 -- Historic Area Remediation Site (HARS) 4 The dumping of contaminated dredged materials from the harbor into the ocean at the “Mud Dump Site”, which became the Historic Area Remediation Site (HARS) shown in Figure 3, was stopped in 1997. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) notes that “the Port of New York and New Jersey must be dredged to maintain navigation and commerce estimated to generate about $20 billion annually in direct and indirect benefits. Due to past and present pollution, managing dredged material from many areas of the Port has posed both challenges and opportunities.” 5 To repair this vital infrastructure for the Port of New York and New Jersey, sediments that contain many contaminants have to be dredged. In 1998 the New York Academy of Sciences Harbor Consortium began studying five contaminants (mercury, cadmium, PCBs, dioxins, and PAHs) in the NY/NJ Harbor. In 2008 the Consortium reported that “dioxins were selected for study by the Consortium because of their impacts on fish and shellfish in the NY/

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