Menendez, Lautenberg Applaud EPA's Finalized Plan to Remove Lead from Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site

Menendez, Lautenberg Applaud EPA's Finalized Plan to Remove Lead from Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site

Cleanup of area in Old Bridge and Sayreville to cost $79 million

NEWARK, N.J. - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg (both D-NJ) today applauded the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the finalized plan to clean up lead contamination at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund site in Old Bridge and Sayreville.

"Today, we begin the path to restoring the Raritan Bay's environment by removing one of the most toxic substances from it," said Senator Menendez. "Restoring the Raritan Bay will not be easy. As we know all too well, what takes only a short period of time to contaminate can take years to clean up. But we have taken a significant step forward today, thanks to Judith Enck and her team. Even in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the EPA was able to keep our efforts to clean the Raritan Bay on course. I will continue to fight in support of their efforts to protect our natural resources for the generations who will inherit them tomorrow."

"I am pleased the EPA is moving forward to clean up the Raritan Bay Slag site, which will protect families from toxic pollution," said Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Cleaning up this pollution will not only keep the local community safe, but it will revitalize the local economy and create jobs. While this is a positive step, we still need to make sure polluting industries- not the taxpayers-are responsible for the cleanup of these sites, and I will continue working to pass my 'Polluter Pays' legislation."

From the EPA:

The cleanup of the Raritan Bay Slag site will be conducted in three sectors that contain lead slag, a byproduct of metal smelting. The lead slag was used to construct a seawall in the 1960s and a jetty along the southern shore of the Raritan Bay in Old Bridge and Sayreville.

  • The first sector includes the Laurence Harbor seawall adjacent to the Old Bridge Waterfront Park in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge Township.
  • The second sector consists of the western jetty in Sayreville and extends from the Cheesequake Creek Inlet into Raritan Bay.
  • The third sector is approximately 50 acres of Margaret's Creek and has elevated lead levels along with areas of slag and battery casings. The estimated cost of the cleanup plan is $79 million.

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 facilities licensed to handle hazardous waste. Excavated areas will be restored with clean material.

Within the Margaret's Creek sector, the EPA will remove 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.