Date of incident: Chronic release of hazardous substances may
have begun as early as the early 1900s.
Location: Kearny, New Jersey
Case status: Remedial Investigation.
Overview: The Hackensack River Study Area is an industrialized
segment of the tidally influenced Hackensack River adjacent to the Former
Diamond Shamrock Site, the Standard Chlorine Site, and the Former Koppers
Seaboard Site, in Kearny, Hudson County, NJ. Several of the parties potentially
responsible for contamination at the three sites (Tierra Solutions, Inc.,
Standard Chlorine Chemical Company, Inc., and Beazer East, Inc., respectively),
collectively referred to as the “Peninsula Restoration Group,” are conducting a
Remedial Investigation of the Hackensack River Study Area that includes a
2.7-mile stretch of the Hackensack River extending from one-half mile upstream
of the upper boundary of the Former Diamond Shamrock Site to one-half mile
downstream of the lower extent of the Former Koppers Seaboard Site,
approximately four miles upstream of Newark Bay.
The remedial activities at the Former Diamond Shamrock Site, the Standard
Chlorine Site, and the Former Koppers Seaboard Site are being addressed by the
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The Former Diamond
Shamrock Site was used from 1916 through 1976 as a chromate chemical
manufacturing facility and from 1952 through 1976 the facility also produced
chrome-based leather tanning agents and chromic acid. The 25-acre Standard
Chlorine Site was used from the early 1900s through the 1990s for the
production and refinement of naphthalene, naphthalene derivatives, and
dichlorobenzenes, formulation of drain cleaning products, and processing of
trichlorobenzene. The 174-acre Former Koppers Seaboard Site was used as an
integrated coke plant, tar plant, and byproducts facility.
The Remedial Investigation is being conducted by the Peninsula Restoration Group to determine the
horizontal and vertical distribution of site-related contamination within sediments of the study area and to
determine and characterize risks to ecological receptors from site-related contaminants in the study area.
A wide range of NOAA trust resources are present in the Hackensack River Study
Area. Marine, resident brackish-water, and anadromous species all utilize the
Hackensack River estuary during various stages in their life history. Species
utilizing the lower portion of the estuary as nursery or adult habitat include
alewife, American eel, Atlantic croaker, Atlantic menhaden, Atlantic tomcod,
bay anchovy, blue crab, bluefish, blueback herring, mummichog, striped bass,
spot, summer flounder, weakfish, white perch, and winter flounder. NJDEP has
issued consumption advisories for blue crab, striped bass, American eel, white
perch and white catfish due to dioxin and PCB contamination. NJDEP also
prohibits the sale of striped bass, American eel, and blue crab from the entire
Newark Bay Complex to protect human consumers.