EPA DIRECTS NL INDUSTRIES TO REMOVE LEAD AT NJ SUPERFUND SITE

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and received
via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
EPA Directs NL Industries to Remove Lead at Raritan Bay
Superfund Site in Old Bridge and Sayreville, New Jersey 
$79 Million Cleanup Will Remove Toxic Lead from Popular Beach
and Public Park 
Contact: Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664 or (cell) 732-672-5520,
rodriguez.elias@epa.gov; Mary Mears, (212) 637-3673,
mears.mary@epa.gov 
(New York, N.Y. - Jan. 30, 2014) The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has directed NL Industries to conduct a $79
million cleanup at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund site in Old
Bridge and Sayreville, New Jersey. Soil and sediment at the site
are contaminated with lead-containing waste that was used to
construct a seawall and jetty at the popular beach. In May 2013,
the EPA finalized its plan to clean up lead contamination at the
Raritan Bay site and the order requires that NL Industries
implement that plan. 
Lead is a toxic metal that is especially dangerous to children
because their growing bodies can absorb more of it than adults.
Lead in children can result in I.Q. deficiencies, reading and
learning disabilities, reduced attention spans, hyperactivity
and other behavioral disorders. The order requires the removal
of lead-contaminated material and its replacement with clean
material in order to reduce the risk to those who use the beach,
particularly children. 
“The lead contamination at the Raritan Bay beach and park is a
threat to the health of the people who live in this community
and it is now time for NL Industries to fulfill its legal
responsibility to conduct the cleanup,” said EPA Regional
Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The cleanup will make it possible
for children to play at the beach safely and for everyone to
enjoy the beach without fear of lead exposure.” 
The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters
should pay for the cleanups, rather than passing the costs to
taxpayers. After sites are placed on the Superfund list of the
most contaminated waste sites, the EPA searches for parties
responsible for the contamination and holds them accountable for
the costs of investigations and cleanups. 
NL Industries has been identified as a party responsible for the
cost of cleanup. Historical documents provide evidence that at
least some if not all of the slag found at the site came from
the former National Lead Company (now NL Industries) facility in
Perth Amboy, NJ which was in operation approximately 40 years
ago. 
The cleanup of the Raritan Bay Slag site will be conducted in
three areas contaminated with lead-containing materials,
including lead slag, a byproduct of metal smelting. One sector
includes the Laurence Harbor seawall adjacent to the Old Bridge
Waterfront Park in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge
Township. Another section consists of the western jetty in
Sayreville and extends from the Cheesequake Creek Inlet into
Raritan Bay. The remaining section is approximately 50 acres of
Margaret’s Creek and has elevated lead levels along with areas
of slag and battery casings. 
For both the Laurence Harbor seawall and the western jetty
sectors, contaminated soil, sediment and waste including slag
and battery casings will be dug up or dredged, and the material
will be disposed of at permitted disposal facilities out of the
area. Excavated areas will be restored with clean material. 
Within the Margaret’s Creek section, EPA will require the
removal of slag and battery casings, along with areas of
contaminated soil associated with these materials. Clean
material will be placed as needed in the excavated areas.
Throughout the cleanup, monitoring and testing will be conducted
to ensure that public health and the environment are protected
and the community will be kept informed about activities and
progress. The EPA has worked closely with the Community Advisory
Group for the site throughout the investigation and cleanup.
Cleanup activities conducted at the site will be done under EPA
oversight. 
To view a copy of the EPA’s order or for more information on the
Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site, visit:
http://www.epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/raritanbayslag. 
(bjh) NY 
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