2011 / Q1 News Briefs

Brian McPeak, site administrator/project manager, seated at right, meets with individuals who attended public meeting.
Meeting outlines
PPG’s plans to dig up,
haul away chrome waste

JERSEY CITY, N.J., March 8, 2011 – More than 30 residents and interested parties who attended a public meeting last Thursday evening learned about PPG Industries’ plans to dig up and haul away chromium waste at the Garfield Avenue Site.

Mike McCabe, the independent, court-appointed site administrator for PPG’s chromium cleanups, provided an overview of the cleanup method, which was agreed to last November by the City of Jersey City, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and PPG. Detailed plans are being developed for the excavation of approximately 700,000 tons of contaminated waste at the Garfield Avenue site and four adjacent sites. Meanwhile, McCabe said the initial cleanup at the site has removed more than 50,000 tons of waste since work began July 1. The goal is to complete the cleanup of all sites by the end of 2014.

McCabe also provided an update on a comprehensive exposure prevention program, including results that show air quality at the Garfield Avenue Site is well within health-safety limits. McCabe reviewed security measures at the site, including the presence of security guards 24 hours a day, seven days a week, an internal alarm notification system if air quality levels approach safety limits and the installation of security cameras.

He also reviewed a blood sampling program that is designed to determine whether the community is being exposed to hexavalent chromium related to the site cleanup. Results from the first round of sampling, conducted before cleanup work began, showed there were no detectable levels of chromium among the 42 residents that would indicate an exposure to contaminated waste. The second round of sampling is under way.

Program manager Brian McPeak, meanwhile, provided an update on a program in which residents living near PPG chromium cleanup sites can request an inspection of their homes if they suspect chromium waste is on their property. Of the 54 inspection requests eligible under the program’s guidelines, record searches indicated there was no history of chromium waste on any of the properties. Follow-up physical site inspections requested by property owners and soil samples to date have not identified chromium waste at any residential property.

After fielding questions from the audience, attendees had an opportunity to visit with representatives from the City of Jersey City, the Independent Technical Consultant and PPG on a variety of topics, including supplier opportunities, the residential inspection program, health and safety concerns and the proposed Berry Lane Park, which includes two of PPG’s 20 cleanup sites.

Second meeting to discuss excavation set for March 3

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Feb. 7, 2011 – A second meeting to discuss PPG Industries’ plans to excavate the Garfield Avenue chromium cleanup site is scheduled for March 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center.

Only six Jersey City residents attended the first meeting Jan. 27, which was conducted less than 24 hours after more than 15 inches of snowfall hit the region. Nonetheless, Mike McCabe, the independent, court-appointed site administrator for PPG’s chromium cleanups, outlined the full excavation plan at the meeting and answered questions. Click here to see McCabe’s presentation.

“The plan requires PPG to remove all the contaminated chromium waste that they can get to and replace it with clean fill,” McCabe said after the meeting. “The testing of the first batch of clean fill that has been used at the site determined that it contains no measurable levels of hexavalent chromium. It's hard to get any cleaner than that.”

Attending the meeting were Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy and Citizen Advisory Board members Dr. Ernesto Tolentino and chairman Markis Abraham in addition to representatives from the Chromium Cleanup Partnership.

No registration is required for the March 3 meeting. In the meantime, residents and interested parties can direct their questions to McCabe by:

  • Calling 201-777-2099;
  • Sending an e-mail to: MichaelMcCabe@chromecleanup.com; or
  • Writing the Chromium Cleanup Partnership at P.O. Box 15981, Jersey City, N.J. 07305.

Despite snow, public meeting is still on

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Jan. 27, 2011 – The public meeting to discuss PPG Industries’ decision to conduct a full-scale excavation and removal of chromium waste at the Garfield Avenue Site will be held this evening as planned as the region digs out from more than 10 inches of snow overnight.

The meeting, which is being conducted at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center, 140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jersey City, is scheduled to begin at 6:30.

Mike McCabe, the court-appointed, independent site administrator for PPG’s cleanups, said the meeting is an opportunity for the public to learn more about PPG’s proposal and to offer comment as the company develops detailed plans for excavation of the 16-acre site.

“In a series of similar meetings held over the past year, community residents stated their strong preference for a cleanup plan to excavate the waste and haul it away,” McCabe said. “We heard you, and have developed a plan to do just that.”

McCabe said the meeting will also serve as an opportunity to brief the public on the progress of the initial cleanup at the Garfield Avenue Site, including the removal of now more than 30,000 tons of highly contaminated material. Remediation work began at the site last July.

“In addition, we’ll provide an update on activities designed to prevent community exposure to hexavalent chromium while work is under way at the site, including blood sampling, residential property inspection and air monitoring results,” McCabe said.

No registration is required.