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FACT SHEET - Wayne Interim Storage Site (WISS), NJ

Published Jan. 1, 2019


The Wayne site is located in a highly developed area of northern New Jersey, approximately 20 miles north-northwest of Newark, New Jersey. The site was formerly owned and operated by Rare Earths, Inc. and W.R. Grace & Co. Contamination at the property resulted from rare earths and thorium processing activities conducted at the facility during the period of 1948 to 1971. The property is now owned by the U.S. government and is designated as the Wayne Interim Storage Site (WISS). The site is located at the intersection of Black Oak Ridge Road and Pompton Plains Cross Road in Wayne Township, Passaic County, New Jersey. The WISS consists of approximately 6.5 acres of fenced property, roughly rectangular in shape. All vicinity properties have been remediated by prior actions.






Responsibility for the Wayne site was assigned to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a decontamination research and development project by the U.S. Congress through the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 1984. DOE placed the site in their Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). In October 1997, responsibility for executing FUSRAP was transferred from DOE to the USACE by further Congressional action. The site is listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the National Priorities List (NPL). All USACE activities at the site are being coordinated with EPA Region II under CERCLA, as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, and a negotiated Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA). The FFA was originally developed by DOE and EPA to outline responsibilities for each agency. Terms of the agreement have been renegotiated by USACE and EPA to incorporate the transfer of responsibilities from DOE to USACE. Thorium is the principal contaminant at the site. Radium, uranium and metals are also present. Two types of contaminated media were present at the site: source media (which includes soil, processing waste, and bulk waste) and a building on WISS. Processing ceased in 1971, and the facility was licensed for storage only. In 1974, W.R. Grace partially decontaminated the site. Burial pits were present at the site that contained thorium processing wastes and building rubble. Between 1985 and 1987, removal actions were conducted to remove contaminated material from off-site locations in the vicinity of WISS. Excavated material from the off-site properties was placed in a storage pile built on top of the process waste pits at WISS. The interim storage pile contained approximately 38,500 cubic yards (CY) of radioactively contaminated soil and building rubble generated during previous cleanup actions at WISS and surrounding vicinity properties. The interim storage pile was removed in 1997 and shipped off-site for disposal.





USACE has conducted a comprehensive environmental review and analysis leading to remedial action for this site. In April 1998, USACE finalized an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to address process waste pit materials, impacted soil and debris, from beneath the footprint of the former interim storage pile, and transport these materials to a permanent disposal facility. As an interim measure under the EE/CA, 40,000 CY (out of an estimated total of 58,000 CY) of materials have been removed. The remainder was removed under the Record of Decision (ROD) signed April 2000. A site-wide remediation was initiated in June 2000, and the excavation of all contaminated material was completed in December 2001. Restoration activities at the site were completed in June 2002. The long-term groundwater monitoring program was initiated in June 2002 and completed in October 2007. ARRA funds were used to complete remediation of soils previously considered inaccessible. The project was completed and removed from the EPA NPL September 2012. 






Allen D. Roos, Program and Project Management Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278 tel: 917-790-8333, email: allen.d.roos@usace.army.mil web: http://www.nan.usace.army.mil