2011 / Q2 News Briefs

Mike McCabe: Results "confirm that the exposure-prevention measures being taken at the cleanup site are working.
Second round of testing shows no detectable levels of hex-chrome in blood spacer

JERSEY CITY, N.J., May 13, 2011 – The second round of blood samples collected from residents living near the Garfield Avenue chromium site contained no detectable levels of hexavalent chromium, consistent with the results from the first round of samples taken before cleanup work began last July.

Blood samples from 36 residents in February were collected as part of an ongoing study conducted by the Environmental and Health Sciences Institute at Rutgers University to determine whether community exposure to hexavalent chromium changes during and after the cleanup at the Garfield Avenue Site.

To date, nearly 70,000 tons of chromium contaminated waste, including some of the most heavily contaminated material at the Garfield Avenue site, have been excavated and hauled away from PPG Industries’ former plant location.

“These latest blood results are very good news given the considerable level of cleanup activity at the site,” said Mike McCabe, the independent, court-appointed site administrator for PPG Industries’ cleanups. “The second-round results confirm that the exposure-prevention measures being taken at the cleanup site are working.”

McCabe said air-monitoring results also confirm PPG’s exposure prevention efforts are working. Hexavalent chromium levels measured in airborne dust at the perimeter of the site are well within safety levels established by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

“The results from the first and second rounds of blood sampling were what you’d expect for typical urban areas without chromium contamination,” McCabe said. “This reaffirms that individuals living near the Garfield Avenue Site have an exposure level that is no different than any other urban area.”

McCabe said the blood sampling program is being conducted in response to community concerns about exposure during the cleanup. Under program guidelines, samples are being collected and analyzed approximately every six months. McCabe said he anticipates the next round of sampling will be conducted later this year. The cleanup is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

No additional residents can be enrolled in the blood sampling program because blood samples taken before the cleanup work began are required for comparison against samples collected during and after the cleanup.

Map shows cleanup sites and areas where samples will be collected. Click here for an emlarged view.
PPG conducting further investigation of Garfield Ave. sites spacer

JERSEY CITY, N.J., April 10, 2011 – To better define the extent of chromium impacts in the area surrounding its former manufacturing facility at 900 Garfield Ave., PPG Industries is collecting soil and groundwater samples at several nearby properties, including public sidewalks and roadways.

See map above showing the location of the cleanup sites and areas where AECOM, PPG’s environmental consultant, intends to collect samples.

Results from this and previous investigations will be used to develop plans for the next phase of the cleanup.

The collection of samples is being conducted in compliance with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regulations and a health and safety plan designed to protect residents and workers.

A letter informing residents within 200 feet of the Garfield Avenue sites of the sampling activity was mailed April 2.