Sunday, March 11, 2007

US EPA National Priority Superfund Sites that I have worked on to research archaeology to meet legal compliance

The Ciba-Geigy Chemical Corporation site in Toms River, Dover Township, New Jersey, is presently owned and operated by the Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation (Ciba) which was formerly the Ciba-Geigy Chemical Corporation (Ciba-Geigy). The site encompasses approximately 1,400 acres, 320 of which are developed, with the remainder consisting of cleared areas, pine barrens and wetlands.

The DeRewal Chemical Company site, which used the site for the storage of chemicals. Chemicals handled included a range of metals, acid solutions, and fertilizer nutrients and associated compounds. Numerous chemical spills were reported in 1973, including one incident in which the contents of a tank truck containing an acidic chromium solution were allowed to drain onto the soil. The DeRewal Chemical Company ceased operations at the site around 1974. The site is adjacent to the Delaware River, which is used for recreation. Several residences are located near the site. The population of Kingwood Township is approximately 3,900. A cultural resources mitigation action took place in November and December 1996 which resulted in the recovery of more than 3,000 Native American artifacts, many dating back more than 1,000 years. EPA worked in a cooperative manner with Kingwood and transferred all of the artifacts to the Township. Many are on public display at the Kingwood Township Municipal Building.

The Montclair/West Orange and Glen Ridge Radium sites. The 120 acre Montclair/West Orange Radium site included 469 residential properties and ten municipal properties. The soil at the site was contaminated with radioactive waste materials suspected to have originated from nearby radium-processing facilities that operated in the early 1900s. Subsequently, houses were constructed on or near radium waste disposal areas. Some of the radium-contaminated soil was used as fill in the low-lying areas, and some was mixed with cement for sidewalks and foundations. This site is similar to the Glen Ridge Radium site, (130 acre included 330 residential properties and 14 municipal properties in the towns of Glen Ridge, Bloomfield and East Orange) which also had radium-contaminated soils from the same sources. Because of their proximity and the similarity of the contamination, the Montclair/West Orange and Glen Ridge Radium sites are being addressed jointly. More than 170,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil was scattered on public and private properties in the communities of both sites. The projects were initiated in 1983, when the State of New Jersey identified a number of homes with high levels of radon gas and radon decay products, as well as excessive levels of indoor and outdoor gamma radiation.

The Hudson River PCBs site includes the approximately 200-mile stretch of the Hudson River from Hudson Falls to the Battery in New York City. The Upper Hudson River, an approximately 40-mile reach of the river from Hudson Falls to Troy, in Washington, Saratoga and Rensselaer Counties, is the reach that has been selected for remediation. The General Electric Company discharged between 209,000 and 1.3 million pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the river from two capacitor manufacturing plants located in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward. The PCBs from these discharges contaminated the sediments of the Upper Hudson River. Also included in the site are five remnant deposits, which are river sediments that were exposed when the level of the river was lowered due to the removal of the Fort Edward Dam, in 1973.

The Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation site (Saratoga Springs Plant) includes a 7-acre parcel owned by Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation (the NMPC Property), The 7-acre NMPC Property was used for coal gas manufacturing by the Saratoga Gas Light Company, a predecessor company of Niagara Mohawk, and then by various other companies from 1853 until the late 1940s. By-product materials containing hazardous substances were disposed of at various locations at the NMPC Property, and the Property's subsurface contains numerous coal tar waste deposits from these operations. Niagara Mohawk operated the site from 1950 to 1999 as a district service center and headquarters for its electric line, natural gas, vehicle and equipment repair, maintenance, storage facilities, and tree trimming crews servicing the Saratoga District. The site is located in a primarily residential area of Saratoga Springs. Approximately 10,000 people live within a 1-mile radius of the site and receive their drinking water supply from the City of Saratoga Springs. Loughberry Lake is the drinking water supply reservoir for the City of Saratoga Springs and is located 2,000 feet upgradient of the site. Approximately 1,300 people in trailer parks and other residents nearby obtain their drinking water from private wells located within 3 miles of the site. (Currently the former "gasholder" is on the US National Register.)

The 70-acre Marathon Battery Co. site includes a now-demolished nickel-cadmium battery plant and 11 surrounding acres, the Hudson River in the vicinity of the Cold Spring pier, and a series of river backwater areas known as Foundry Cove and Constitution Marsh.

Source: US EPA National Priority Superfund listings

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