2017 / Q1 News Briefs
Prabal Amin of Weston Solutions, the independent technical consultant, answers a question at open house.
Open house provides
attendees with latest
on chromium cleanups
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JERSEY CITY, N.J., Feb. 13, 2017 – Residents and interested parties met with officials from the Chromium Cleanup Partnership during an open house Jan. 31 to learn the latest on PPG’s progress at sites in Hudson County.

Representatives from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the City of Jersey City, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, PPG, the independent technical consultant and the site administrator’s office met with attendees.

Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Ward F Council Member Jermaine Robinson and Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil were among the more than 20 people who attended the event at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center.

In his brief opening remarks, Site Administrator Ron Riccio welcomed visitors and encouraged them to visit with the experts one-on-one at the meeting. In addition, Riccio recommended attendees read his latest progress report to the court and the January edition of the Chromium Cleanup Partnership newsletter to obtain a thorough understanding of the groups’ efforts.

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Report says measures to prevent exposure during soil cleanup activities at the Garfield Avenue sites have been effective.
Final round of blood monitoring confirms exposure-prevention measures work spacer

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Jan. 27, 2017 – A report summarizing the results of a voluntary blood monitoring program administered by the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) at the Rutgers School of Public Health confirms that the multiple and overlapping measures to prevent human exposure to chromium during PPG’s soil cleanup activities at the Garfield Avenue sites have been effective.

Blood samples collected from 28 residents living in a study area near Garfield Avenue in June and July 2016 showed no detectable levels of chromium. Furthermore, results from the six previous rounds, including the initial testing in 2010, did not find any evidence of an increase in the blood chromium levels of the study area participants, despite digging up and hauling away approximately 1 million tons of chromium-contaminated soil and debris.

“I couldn’t be more pleased because safety has been and continues to be our No. 1 priority,” said Ron Riccio, the independent, court-appointed site administrator overseeing PPG’s chromium cleanups. “These results confirm the cleanup is being conducted in a safe and effective manner.”

The protective measures include best management practices such as:

  • Setting stringent limits on airborne dust and chromium;
  • Monitoring air quality 24/7;
  • Water misting work areas to suppress dust;
  • Spraying surfaces with dust-suppression materials;
  • Pressure-washing trucks in a protected area before exiting site; and
  • Covering open excavations and stockpiles when not being worked.

To determine baseline blood chromium concentrations, blood samples were collected from community volunteers living in the study area established under the blood monitoring program before the excavation began in July 2010. As planned in the blood monitoring program, samples were then collected annually, including 2016, the final year of the study. Under program guidelines, samples were collected and analyzed by an independent laboratory.

Dr. Robert J. Laumbach of EOHSI said in his report that the results from the six-year study “support the conclusion that the work practices, dust suppression activities and the air monitoring program for controlling potential exposures to Chromium(VI) during the site remediation activities provided effective protection for residents in the Study Area.”

In a series of public meetings conducted before the excavation began, the site administrator at the time recommended the blood study be conducted to monitor potential chromium exposure to residents.

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Technical experts will be available to answer questions about PPG’s cleanups.
Meet one-on-one
with site administrator,
experts on cleanups
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JERSEY CITY, N.J., Jan. 10, 2017 – Site Administrator Ron Riccio and a variety of experts on PPG’s chromium cleanups will be available to meet one-on-one with residents and interested parties during a public open house Jan. 31 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center, 140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

In his opening remarks, Riccio will provide an update on the status at all PPG cleanup sites. Attendees can then visit with members of the technical teams at a series of information tables to ask questions about specific sites.

No preregistration is required.