What is the Raritan
site runs from the north/western jetty
Creek inlet in Sayreville to the Margaret’s
Creek / Seidlers’
Beach area between Laurence Harbor
Beach in Old Bridge Township. The
site is along the waterfront, extending
a short distance into the bay and
in some spots inland. It includes
the entire Old Bridge Waterfront Park
in Laurence Harbor.
The contamination consists mostly
of refinery slag and battery casings
that contain higher than acceptable
levels of lead, arsenic, antimony,
chromium and other heavy metals.
The slag was used as erosion control
along the Laurence Harbor waterfront
“seawall” and was used as a building
material in the western jetty of the
Creek inlet. Contaminants can also
be found inland around the Margaret’s
Where did the contamination
According to locals, the contaminants
were brought in during the early 1970’s.
NL Industries (formerly National
Lead) has been named as a Potentially
Responsible Party by the EPA.
What is the Community
Advisory Group (CAG)?
Local residents and stakeholders
formed the CAG early in 2010 to be
the liaison between the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the local
Who is on the CAG?
Current members of the CAG include
local residents, an Old Bridge councilman,
local environmental groups and Congressman
Who attends the meetings?
Anyone is welcome to attend. Representatives
from EPA usually attend the meetings.
There may be presentations from scientists,
engineers, government officials, potentially
responsible parties (alleged former
polluters), environmental groups and
local residents and business owners.
When are meetings held?
Meetings are held the second Tuesday
of the month at 6:30 pm in the Old
Bridge Township recreational building
in the Laurence Harbor Waterfront
*Please check the website for changes in time and location.
This is a lead slag kettle-bottom.
What does the contamination
The slag looks like brownish, rounded,
pitted rock. It is very heavy due
to its high lead content. The battery
casings look like weathered black
Is the contamination dangerous?
The EPA has posted signs and put
up fences to keep people away from
The main risk is from ingesting the
contamination. Children and pregnant
women have the greatest risk of being
affected. Local children were tested
and did not show elevated levels of
contamination. The contamination is
not airborne, and the groundwater
and drinking water are not affected.
Some aquatic plants and animals from
the area show elevated levels of contaminants.
What is the cleanup plan?
All materials with lead concentrations
above 400 parts per million (ppm)
will be removed to an off-site approved
toxic waste storage facility. Although
the details have not been determined,
it is likely that removal will begin
Beach / Margaret’s Creek and gradually
and west in order to avoid recontamination
of cleaned areas by the prevailing
Who will pay for the
NL Industries has been named as the
Potentially Responsible Party, so
they are responsible for executing
the cleanup under EPA oversight.
If NL Industries refuses to cooperate
with the EPA, then the EPA will execute
the cleanup using public funding,
and NL Industries could be liable
to repay the EPA three times the cost.
Is NL Industries cooperating?
EPA has met with NL Industries to
discuss keeping the lines of communication
open. NL Industries has sued several
other parties to share in the cleanup
responsibility. The EPA says that
NL’s lawsuits have no effect on the
How does the Superfund
/ SITE INSPECTION
The EPA began investigating this
site in 2008 when NJDEP found contamination
while evaluating the Margaret’s Creek
area for preservation.
Fencing and signs were put up in
2009. After Hurricane Sandy the Emergency
Response team removed rubble from
the park and re-tested for lead in
areas accessible to the public. The
team is currently working on seawall
stabilization by the gazebo.
PRIORITIES LIST (NPL) SITE LISTING PROCESS
The site was added to the NPL (became
a “Superfund Site”) in 2009.
INVESTIGATION / FEASIBILITY STUDY
In 2012 the EPA completed testing
and top-level evaluation of cleanup
PLAN / PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE
In Sep 2012 the EPA announced its
Proposed Plan and Preferred Alternative:
to remove contaminated
material with more than 400 ppm of lead off-site. In Oct 2012 EPA held a public
meeting and took public comment.
In June 2013 the EPA filed a Record
of Decision legally adopting their
DESIGN / REMEDIAL ACTION
EPA is currently negotiating with
NL Industries on how the cleanup will
proceed. Detailed remediation plans
will be drawn up and then cleanup
may begin. EPA estimates that this
phase, from negotiation to completion,
may take 5-7 years, and is dependent
on a funding source.
Since the remedy calls for removing
all lead above 400 ppm off-site, there
should be no need for further monitoring
after the cleanup.
PRIORITIES LIST DELETION
The park will no longer be a Superfund
SITE REUSE / REDEVELOPMENT
After the cleanup the parks should
return to their original uses as recreational
and open space.