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FACT SHEET-Middlesex Sampling Plant, NJ

Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Published Oct. 18, 2021

DESCRIPTION: The Middlesex Sampling Plant is located at 239 Mountain Avenue in Middlesex, New Jersey. The facility, which includes several buildings on 9.6 acres, was an entry point for African uranium ores known as pitchblende. These ores, imported for use in the nation’s early atomic energy program, were assayed at the Middlesex Sampling Plant and then shipped to other sites for processing. The site received uranium, thorium and beryllium ores from the 1940s until 1967, at which time the facility was decontaminated to the standards in effect at the time. However, overlooked during decontamination were traces of radioactive materials that had been carried offsite over the years by wind and rain to yards of neighboring homes. Also, records later revealed that in 1948, some radioactively contaminated materials had been trucked from the plant to the Middlesex Municipal Landfill (MML), one-half mile away. In 1980’s, the contaminated residential properties were cleaned up, and the excavated soil was stored at the site in a specially constructed pile, known as the Vicinity Properties (VP) pile. Also in the 1980’s, the contaminated materials disposed of at the MML were excavated, brought back to the site and stored in a specially constructed pile, known as the MML pile. In 1997, the contaminated process building was demolished, and the steel stockpiled for recycling. In 1998 the Corps of Engineers recycled and disposed of the stockpiled steel. In addition the Corps disposed of 33,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil contained within the (MML) pile. In 1999, the Corps prepared an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to address the Vicinity Property (VP) pile remaining at the site. Between August 1999 and November 1999, the Corps disposed of 35,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil contained within the VP pile. A Record of Decision (ROD) for Soils was signed September 2005. Remedial Action in accordance with this ROD was completed in FY08.

USACE’s responsibilities for the site have been defined in a negotiated Federal Facilities Agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), effective Dec 2009. The Corps continues to monitor the air, groundwater, surface water and sediments to ensure that measures being taken to contain the contamination are working. Final cleanup of the contaminated ground water will be addressed in a separate action. 

AUTHORIZATION/PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The site is being addressed under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). The Fiscal Year 1998 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, transferred management of the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), when it was signed into law on October 13, 1997. FUSRAP was created in 1974 to clean up sites where work was performed during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s as part of the nation's early atomic energy program. Most of those contaminated sites were cleaned up under the guidelines in effect at the time, which were not as strict as today’s standards in most cases.

STATUS: A supplemental Groundwater Remedial Investigation was completed in FY16. The Groundwater Feasibility Study was completed FY17. The Proposed Plan is currently being developed and will be completed in FY20. Coordination with EPA Region 2 and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is ongoing.

A virtual public meeting will be held to discuss the Proposed Plan on 31 August 2020, starting at 6:00 pm.  Interested members of the public are invited to participate in the virtual meeting via the following WebEx link: 

https://bluestoneenvironmentalgroup.my.webex.com/bluestoneenvironmentalgroup.my/j.php?MTID=m1b24b3522379a847524b708d80402ce0

 

PROJECT DOCUMENTS

MSP OU2 GW Record of Decision

MSP OU2 GW Remedial Investigation Report

MSP OU2 GW Feasibility Study

MSP OU2 GW Proposed Plan

MSP OU2 GW Project Status Summary Sheet

MSP OU2 GW Public Comment Sheet

MSP OU2 Groundwater Investigation Technical Memo

 

CONTACT: 

Daniel Kennedy
Email: daniel.m.kennedy@usace.army.com
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Program and Project Management Division
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278