From: R. Greenway, ENN
Published October 14, 2009 06:54 AM

EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, Dept. of Energy Agree to Complete Cleanup of Middlesex, NJ Superfund Site

Soil remediation is finished while groundwater remediation remains to be done, at the Middlesex Sampling Plant site in Middlesex, NJ.  This site had first been added to the National Priorities List (Superfund) in 1999, ten years ago.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Department of Energy (DOE) covering federal facilities, which details responsibilities for completing the cleanup of the site. The property was used by the Atomic Energy Commission as part of the nation’s early atomic energy program to handle various radioactive ores.


From 1943 to 1967, the 9.6-acre  Middlesex site was used by the Atomic Energy Commission to sample, store, test, and transfer ores containing uranium, thorium, and beryllium. The site was placed in the custody of DOE in 1980. Investigations conducted by DOE at the site identified several contaminants, including uranium, radium, arsenic, chromium, lead and volatile organic compounds, in the soil, sediments, ground water beneath the site, and surface water moving through the site.

The contaminants identified when cleanup began in the 1980s were radioactive particles in the uranium and radium decay series, various metals (arsenic, chromium, and lead) and volatile organic compounds. Site investigations and monitoring indicated that elevated levels of contaminants were present in soils, sediments, groundwater beneath the site, and surface water moving through the site.

Various removal actions were undertaken by DOE at surrounding land parcels (nearby properties and the Middlesex Municipal Landfill) where contaminated fill from the MSP site had been transported to during the 1940s. Contaminated materials were excavated from the vicinity properties and Middlesex Municipal Landfill in the 1980s, put into interim storage at MSP, and eventually removed for off-site disposal in the late 1990s.  The USACE conducted Remedial Investigation/Feasibility (RI/FS) Studies on both the site soils and the groundwater.  The Record of Decision for the soils was signed in September 2005 and the remedy included excavation of contaminated soils to levels allowing for residential use with off-site disposal of the contaminated soils.  The remedial action for the soils was completed in the spring of 2008 with a final inspection performed by EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in July 2008.  The USACE’s Remedial Action Report is in the process of being finalized.  The USACE completed a Draft Feasibility Study for the groundwater, however, it was determined that additional groundwater data still needs to be collected to fully develop alternatives for remediation.

In September 2009, EPA signed a Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) with the USACE and DOE for the MSP site.  As a result, DOE will be responsible for long term surveillance, operation and maintenance of the MSP site once the USACE has completed all remedial actions.

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