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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Extends Public Comment Period on Proposed Cleanup Plan to Address Soil and Groundwater Contamination at the Riverside Industrial Park Superfund Site in Newark, New Jersey

Contact Information: 
Sonia Mohabir (
(212) 637-3241

NEWARK, N.J. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the public comment period to September 21, 2020 on its proposed cleanup plan for the Riverside Industrial Park Superfund site on the bank of the Passaic River in Newark. The proposed plan includes a combination of technologies and methods to address the cleanup of contaminated soil, soil gas (gas trapped in the soil), groundwater, sewer water and waste at the site.

“EPA previously took action to prevent further release of hazardous chemicals into the river by plugging a discharge pipe and addressing the tanks that were the source of the release at the Riverside Industrial Park site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Today, after an extensive investigation of this industrial park with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, we are proposing what we believe are the best methods to clean up the contamination and maintain the protection of public health over time.”

The Riverside Industrial Park Superfund site is located on a 7.6-acre active industrial property that includes both current and former manufacturing and packaging facilities. Beginning in 1903, industrial operations started at the site that included the manufacturing of paint, varnish, linseed oil and resins. After 1971, the site was subdivided into 15 lots, some of which have ongoing business operations. The sources of soil and groundwater contamination include historic site operations, accidental spills, illegal dumping, improper handling of raw materials and/or improper waste disposal.

In 2009, at the request of NJDEP, EPA responded to an oil spill into the Passaic River that was eventually traced to two basement storage tanks in a vacant building on the site. The state and the City of Newark requested EPA’s help in assessing the contamination at the site and performing emergency actions to identify and stop the source of the spill. EPA investigated and discovered that chemicals including benzene, mercury, chromium and arsenic were improperly stored at the site. EPA took immediate actions to prevent further release of these chemicals into the river in the short-term. The site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites in 2013, and in 2014 an agreement was signed with PPG Industries, Inc. to perform the study of the site.

EPA held a virtual public meeting to explain and receive comments on the proposed plan on August 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm.

Written comments on EPA’s proposed plan may be mailed or emailed until September 21, 2020 to: Josh Smeraldi, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 18th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866 or

To view EPA’s proposed plan for the site or for more information, please visit

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