Army Corps to Review Four Previously Cleaned Properties to Ensure They Meet Required Highest Possible Cleanup Standard
Government's aggressive monitoring and review required by law in order to
officially remove cleaned Thorium Site from Superfund List; turn it back to Township
Wayne - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J., 8th), Wayne Mayor Scott Rumana, and Council President Alan Purcell announced today that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be examining new data from four properties adjacent to the Wayne Interim Storage Site. The properties were cleaned during the 1980's, and the review is to ensure that they are cleaned to the current required cleanup standard. According to the Army Corps, the upcoming review is part of the ongoing monitoring process which began last December when final excavation and removal of soil was completed. It is required in order for the site to be officially de-listed from the list of Superfund sites.
The four properties are located along the Sheffield Brook and include a portion of Sheffield Park.
Since December, the Army Corps has been conducting groundwater monitoring and, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, been conducting a review of all information related to the activities performed at the Site since it was listed on the National Priorities List in 1983. This work is required for five years after cleanup and removal activities are completed.
Following the five-year monitoring as required by law, the site will be turned over to its owner, which is currently the U.S. Department of Energy. The Congressman has said since day one in the cleanup effort that he believes the property should be turned over to the Township of Wayne, to use as it sees fit. Mayor Rumana and the Congressman will be working closely with the Army Corps and the U.S. Department toward that end throughout the monitoring phase.
According to the Army Corps, the Wayne site was the first U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) location in the United States to be completely cleaned on schedule.
"The Army Corps is appropriately monitoring and reviewing all aspects of this site cleanup so as to enable us to take this site off the Superfund list once and for all," said Pascrell. "We insisted that the site and surrounding properties be cleaned to the highest possible standard, and the Corps is working now to ensure that every yard of this site meets that rigorous standard. Nothing less is acceptable for the people of this community."
"I want to thank Congressman Pascrell for his diligent effort on behalf of Wayne Township. The fact that this site is the first location in the country to be completely cleaned on schedule is a testament to the Congressman's resolve and the hard work of the Army Corps of Engineers. I will continue to work with the Congressman and the Corps of Engineers to ensure that the safety of our residents remains the top priority and that every parcel of property will be cleaned to the highest possible standard," said Mayor Scott Rumana.
Council President Purcell and Councilman Krause, both of whom have been vigorous in their pursuit to have the thorium removed, stated, "We felt it was important to advise the residents living in this area that what is going to be done is part of a continuing effort to see to it that these properties are completely clean once and for all."
Since taking office in Congress in 1997, Pascrell has made expediting the cleanup of the Thorium Site, and doing so to the highest possible "unrestricted use" standard, a top priority. Pascrell's tenure in Congress has seen the removal of nearly all the surface soil and the entire amount of subsurface material from the Thorium Site. He and Wayne officials, including Mayor Rumana, Councilman Mike Krause, the other members of the Township Council, and former Mayor David Waks, worked to ensure the Black Oak Ridge Road site and its vicinity properties would indeed be cleaned to the "unrestricted use" standard, rather than the originally scheduled "commercial use" standard.
The Wayne Interim Storage Site (WISS) was formerly utilized by W.R. Grace and Company for the processing of rare earth metals. During Grace's operation, waste materials containing thorium were buried on site and in the surrounding area. An initial cleanup led to the consolidation of the waste at the site on Black Oak Ridge Road between 1985-1987.