Progress in 2017

January 4, 2018

I am pleased to report that significant progress was made at the PPG chromium cleanup sites in 2017. The key accomplishments are set forth below. Most importantly, the work at the Garfield Avenue sites began to move from the “dig and haul” phase of contaminated soils and debris to groundwater cleanup and “site restoration” activities. Site restoration means that, in those areas where the contaminated soils have been removed, efforts are now focused on backfilling, final grading, stormwater control, installation of engineering controls and other activities designed to “restore” the sites so that redevelopment can commence.

PPG has commenced a groundwater treatment program at the Garfield Avenue sites. This is intended to target chromium contamination in the water table through the use of, among other things, “biological” treatment agents that will reduce the chromium contamination without harm to the environment.

Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • An additional 40,000 tons (estimated) of contaminated soil and debris were removed from the Garfield Avenue sites.
  • Demolition of the Al Smith Moving building (corner of Pacific Avenue and Caven Point Avenue) and other buildings along Pacific Avenue was completed. Excavation of contaminated soils under these buildings was commenced and is nearly complete.
  • Restoration of the Garfield Avenue sites commenced in 2017. With the exception of the roadways (such as Carteret Avenue) and those sites where access has not yet been secured (such as the Ten West Apparel property and parcels adjacent to it), the majority of the restoration is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
  • PPG commenced implementation of an NJDEP-approved groundwater remedial investigation work plan designed to complete delineation of groundwater impacts at the Garfield Avenue sites.
  • A groundwater treatment program has begun at the Garfield Avenue sites. This program will include active remediation of chromium impacted groundwater.
  • Remediation of accessible chromium impacted soils located around buildings situated on Forrest Street (west of Halladay Street) was completed.
  • Remediation of Forrest Street itself (west of Halladay Street) commenced in 2017. It is expected that remediation of accessible soils in this roadway will be completed in 2018.
  • The former Halsted Corporation building (corner of Carteret Avenue and Halladay Street) is now vacant. Pre-demolition activities commenced in 2017. Demolition and excavation are scheduled to commence in 2018.
  • PPG and the owners of the Ten West Apparel property (near the corner of Garfield Avenue and Caven Point Avenue) have agreed in principle on the terms of access to the property for remediation purposes.
  • The remediation at Site 156, Metro Towers, has been substantially completed and is awaiting final review by NJDEP.
  • PPG has secured access to Site 107 (18 Chapel Avenue). Demolition of the building and remediation of the underlying chromium contamination is expected to commence in 2018.
  • PPG, the City of Jersey City, the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority and the NJDEP have agreed in principle to the terms of a settlement agreement to remedy contaminants beneath portions of Burma Road and Morris Pesin Drive.
  • A total of 79 properties were enrolled in the residential inspection program since its inception in 2010. With one property still under investigation, the final outcome for the remaining 78 of these properties is as follows:

    2: Number of owners who asked if their properties were eligible for the program but did not pursue further action.

    43: Number of owners who requested and received a historical records search of their properties but did not pursue further action.

    6: Number of owners who had their properties undergo site or visual inspections but did not pursue further action.

    21: Number of properties in which hexavalent chromium (the source was not chromate chemical production waste [CCPW]) was below 20 parts per million (ppm) in soil samples collected. As a result, no further action was required.

    6: Number of properties where soil samples exceeded 20 ppm of hexavalent chromium. With respect to these 6 properties, the source of hexavalent chromium was not CCPW. Nonetheless, PPG has conducted soil removals at these properties voluntarily.

  • Interim remedial measures in place at the PPG cleanup sites that have yet to undergo final remediation continue to be regularly inspected and monitored to ensure against potential exposure risk to hexavalent chromium.
  • Results from air monitoring at all the cleanup sites show air quality remained well within strict safety limits established by NJDEP.
  • A public information session in 2017 provided residents with an update on cleanup activities and an opportunity for the public to get their questions answered.
  • The Chromium Cleanup Partnership published and circulated to the community a newsletter informing recipients of the status of the PPG cleanup sites.

I have agreed to accept re-appointment to serve for another two year term as independent Site Administrator. For this, I am appreciative of the parties’ and the Court’s confidence in me and my team. I will continue to do my best to make sure that the remediation and restoration of the PPG sites is done efficiently, effectively, expeditiously, transparently, and above all, safely.

Site Administrator, PPG Chromium Cleanup Sites