The Lower Passaic River Study Area Cooperating Parties Group (CPG) is a group of 67 companies working on the investigation and removal of contaminated sediment and capping in an area of the Lower Passaic River known as River Mile 10.9 in Lyndhurst. This work, occurring in a 5.5 acre area adjacent to Riverside County Park and Thomas F. Gallagher Memorial Recreation Area, has been completed with oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other government entities. The area was identified as part of a comprehensive, ongoing investigation of a 17-mile stretch of the river, from Newark Bay to Dundee Dam in Garfield that the CPG is conducting, also under EPA oversight.
Planned Work Stages
Mobilization of equipment to the site began on July 30, 2013. The CPG will use barges to transport contaminated sediment from the River Mile (RM) 10.9 Removal Area to Clean Earth’s Dredge Technologies facility in Kearny, NJ.
These barges transported capping materials and dredging equipment, including cranes and environmental dredging buckets, to the Removal area. No equipment, sediment or other materials were staged or transported through the park, recreation area or local streets during this phase of the project.
In August and September of 2013, the top two feet of sediment in the riverbed – approximately 20,000 cubic yards – were dredged in an area adjacent to the Riverside County Park.
Sediment was removed with specialized environmental dredging buckets – lowered and raised slowly in the River – and then transferred onto a barge. This is an intentionally slow and controlled process to minimize the amount of re-suspension of sediment in the River. This removal work was scheduled to take place 12 hours a day (from dawn to dusk), for six days a week over a period of approximately eight weeks. No overnight work is planned.
Transportation of Material
Several bridges were needed to be opened to support mobilization and demobilization of equipment. Bridge openings were also required to support the transport of dredged materials and capping materials to and from the Removal Area. It was anticipated that 10 bridges along the Lower Passaic River were required opening on a daily basis to support the transport of materials to and from the project site: the DeJessa Park Avenue Bridge (RM 10.37), Rutgers Avenue (Route 7) Bridge (RM 8.53), Clay Street Bridge (RM 5.83), Morristown Line RR (RM 5.57), Bridge Street Bridge (RM 5.41), the Penn RR at Center Street Bridge (RM 4.75), Penn RR at Market Street (RM 4.75), Amtrak Dock Bridge (RM 4.75), Jackson Street Bridge (RM 4.37), Conrail Bridge (RM 2.33).
Once dredging was completed, the CPG installed an engineered cap over the Removal area from October to December of 2013. The cap is approximately two feet thick and consist of erosion-resistant armor stone, a permeable fabric (known commonly as geotextile), sand and a layer of activated carbon. This cap will ensure that remaining contaminated sediment is isolated and does not pose unacceptable human health or ecological risks.
Community Health and Safety
The CPG was dedicated to working closely with Lyndhurst, Bergen County, community groups and residents who lived or spent time in or near the Riverside County Park and the Township’s recreation area to keep them informed about the project. All work was conducted consistent with the EPA-approved worker and community Health and Safety plans to ensure that no adverse effects occur. Input from the community was incorporated into these plans.
No contaminated sediment or capping material was staged in the park or recreation area, or transported via local streets and roads. All work was conducted from the water. The CPG worked with Lyndhurst and Bergen County officials to ensure that the park, recreation area and River continued to be used safely during the project. The CPG conducted air monitoring on a continuous basis, and monitored the weather closely. Work was adjusted or temporarily stopped as necessary to ensure the continued health and safety of the community. The CPG coordinated with local recreational boating organizations and the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that River users were aware of the removal activities. The CPG also provided 24-hour security in the vicinity of the removal activities during the removal action.
Public Availability Session on River Mile 10.9 Project
On June 5, 2013, the EPA and CPG held a public information availability session for interested members of the public.
The session provided the public with an opportunity to: learn more about the work that occured at RM 10.9 in Lyndhurst; asked any questions prior to the start of the project; and learn how this project had been undertaken to address contaminated sediment in the River bottom only, not to address other issues, such as flooding in Lyndhurst.
The session consisted of a presentation and Q&A session followed by public availability segment. During the public availability portion, members of the public had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with representatives from the EPA, CPG and other government agencies.
Click here to download the RM 10.9 Lyndhurst Presentation
For More Information
For more information on the CPG's work at River Mile 10.9 in Lyndhurst, please call Ray Germann at: (973) 742-0074, e-mail him or visit our website at: www.lowerpr.com. Media should contact Jonathan Jaffe at 973-315-0300 or email him.