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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Hess Corporation in Port Reading, New Jersey

On this page:

  • Cleanup Status
  • Site Description
  • Contaminants at this Facility
  • Site Responsibility

Cleanup Status

The property is being cleaned up under the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Site Remediation Program through a voluntary cleanup agreement between Hess Corporation and NJDEP, and a Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) permit issued by EPA under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  Numerous waste oil and fuel oil underground storage tanks have been removed.  Three areas, including land treatment and ponds, are being closed.  Chemical product is being removed periodically from the groundwater in the area of a release from a pipeline. 
Investigations of soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment and indoor air are planned throughout several areas of the refinery property and off-site.  Clean up of these areas will be completed, as necessary.  Additional delineation and active remediation of product floating on the groundwater in two areas of the site are planned. 

Site Description

The Hess Corporation Port Reading Refinery occupies approximately 210 acres on Cliff Road in an industrial waterfront area of Port Reading, New Jersey.  The Conrail Port Reading Rail Yard is located to the north, the Arthur Kill shipping channel to the east and southeast, the PSE&G power facility and Smith Creek to the south, and mixed industrial and commercial land use to west.  Residences are located approximately one quarter mile to the north, west, and southwest.   

The property is used as an oil refinery and petroleum storage terminal.  Site operations were initiated in 1958, with refining operations discontinued between 1974 and 1985.  The facility currently processes low sulfur gas oils and residuals as feed to a Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit that converts gas oil into gasoline, fuel oil, and other hydrocarbon products (e.g., methane, ethane, and liquid petroleum gas).

Contaminants at this Facility

Due to the refining and storage operations over the years, areas of soil and groundwater contamination have been identified at the site, including benzene, lead and arsenic. 

Site Responsibility at this Facility

Hess Corporation operated landfarms and a container storage area at their former Port Reading, New Jersey facility to manage hazardous wastes. The facility is subject to the statutory and regulatory requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) of 1984.  The facility was issued the RCRA permit in 1988 which consisted of the two components: pre-HSWA component issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP); and HSWA component issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The HSWA component was to address site corrective action requirements, among others. 

In December 2013, the facility ownership was transferred which triggered site remediation under the State Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA). As part of the transaction, Hess Corporation remains responsible for site remediation.  EPA and New Jersey Department of Environmental protection (NJDEP) work together in overseeing the site corrective action/remediation. EPA is the lead for RCRA corrective actions and the NJDEP is the lead for the post-closure permitting of the landfarms.