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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has granted a no further action determination for 551 acres of the Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne facility in 2001. In 1998-1999, underground concrete storage vaults, which had held 150,000 gallons of Number 6 fuel oil each, were removed. The concrete vaults and adjacent contaminated soil was removed. A clean-up at Operable Unit 2 - Light Rail Parcel was conducted. This action included removal of soils contaminated with PCB's down to the water table and back filling with clean soil.

A feasibility study evaluated remedial alternatives to address contamination in the soil, sediment and groundwater throughout the facility. A Decision Document was prepared by the Army to specify the remedial actions required at the facility. A Remedial Action Work Plan was prepared and cleanup work was completed in 2005. NJDEP determined, and issued a letter dated June 13, 2006, that no further action is required for the entire site and imposed restrictions on the use of the property and groundwater. The groundwater will continue to be monitored and sampled to assure that the migration of contaminated groundwater is under control. Merck will continue to implement a remedial of the site. If deemed necessary, additional remedial measures will be implemented.

Site Description

The Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne (MOTBY) is a 652 acre, approximately 1/3-mile wide, 2-mile long, manmade peninsula that extends into the upper New York Harbor. It is located on Port Terminal Road adjacent to (west of) the City of Bayonne. Site use as a port terminal extends back to 1939 when dredged fill material was first used to create the peninsula. 

In 1941, the U.S. Navy purchased the terminal and performed additional construction. The facility served as the primary East coast distribution point for ordnance and electronic materials and stored war reserve materials. It also served as a storage and issue point for petroleum products, supplied fresh provisions and bulk petroleum to ships, and served as a storage point for National Stockpile Material.

Title for this property was transferred to the U. S. Army in 1967. In 1995, MOTBY was designated for closure under the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) and in September 1999, MOTBY terminated all military operations.

The installation is currently maintained by the City of Bayonne and houses office space in Building 82 for a portion of the city's police force, administrative staff, and maintenance staff. The City of Bayonne's fire department operates a fire station in Building 44B, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) operates an active facility located at Areas 75 and 85.

Contaminants at this Facility

Soil contamination at the site includes metals, organics, pesticides and PCBs. Groundwater contamination at the site includes inorganics (arsenic, mercury), volatile organics (including benzene, chlorobenzene, trichloroethene), and pesticides (dieldrin, DDD). Sources of the contamination include underground storage tanks (USTs), possible releases from a sanitary sewer, spills from former polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) transformers, contaminated fill used to construct the Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne peninsula, and the possible migration of petroleum contamination on site from off-site sources.

Site Responsibility at this Facility

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 2.