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Federal Superfund Begins Cleanup Of Heavy Metals and PCBs At The Pittsburgh Metals Site in Jersey City, New Jersey

Release Date: 11/12/1998
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(#98158) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cleanup crews this week are preparing to remove dirt contaminated with heavy metals and chemicals from the Pittsburgh Metal site on Aetna Street in a mostly industrial section of Jersey City. A former lead smelter operation is located at the site.

EPA's initial work began in April of this year when it restricted unauthorized access to the site to protect public health and to temporarily cover highly trafficked areas of contamination to limit movement of the material. During the past summer, EPA testing also found heavy metal contamination on adjoining properties, and the agency took additional measures to further restrict public access to these areas. The upcoming cleanup will include adjacent off-site areas believed to have been contaminated by activities in and around the site, and the movement of contamination that resulted. All the contaminated material will be shipped to licensed off-site facilities for disposal over the next several months.

"Using Superfund, we have the resources to eliminate the potential health threat posed by the site. We have planned the work to get it done safely, as quickly as possible, and to keep any disruptions in the neighborhood to a minimum," EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox said. "We are closely coordinating all our cleanup activities with city and state agencies."

Lead is the primary contaminant in the soils at the site, but EPA found other heavy metals, as well as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at significant levels.

Since 1990, EPA's Superfund removal action program has been successfully used at eleven sites in Jersey City, not including the Pittsburgh Metals site, with more than $5 million spent on hazardous waste cleanups.

In March 1990, EPA completed the cleanup of a site on Duffield Avenue. EPA cleaned up two more sites in the same area, the Harvey site at 150 Duffield Avenue in January 1992, and the St. Paul Avenue Trailer site at Duffield Avenue and St. Paul Avenue in May 1995. EPA completed two similar actions along Rt.440 in December 1992 and February 1995.

Other Superfund removal cleanups in Jersey City included the City Chemical Corporation site at 100 Hoboken Avenue in July 1996, the Ideal Cooperage Inc. site at 3-5 New York Avenue in January 1992 and the Pacific Avenue Dump in September 1992. In June 1992, EPA completed the cleanup of the Turnpike Dump #5 site between Gilchrist and Aetna Street. The Union Cold Storage Terminal site at 13 and Provost Street was completed in September 1994. The Woodward Metal Processing site at 125 Woodward Street was the last big EPA Superfund removal action in Jersey City and cost $1.795 million. It was completed in June 1995.


For more information contact:
Richard Cahill, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3666 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: cahill.richard@epamail.epa.gov