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 the 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recycled and disposed of the stockpiled steel. In addition, USACE disposed of 33,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil contained within the MML pile. In 1999, USACE prepared an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to address the VP pile remaining at the site. Between August 1999 and November 1999, USACE 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 which resulted in removal of more than 45,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils and materials.
For more information visit the fact sheet
Helen K. Edge, Project Manager
Phone: (917) 790-8332
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Programs and Project Management Division
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278