Northeast Region

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An aerial view of a meandering marsh channel at McKinney Wildlife Refuge. Credit USFWS

NOAA and Co-trustees Seek Comment on Draft Restoration Plan for Two Connecticut Hazardous Waste Sites

Trustees for the Lordship Point Gun Club site, a former skeet shooting range, and Raymark Industries site, a former car parts manufacturer in Connecticut, released a Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 197 pg).

Two excavators hammer away at the Bloede Dam on a river shortly after its breach. Credit: Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Removing Bloede Dam - A Victory 10 Years in the Making

On September 14th, 2018 following ten years of planning between NOAA and project partners, explosives were detonated on the Bloede Dam. Water and rubble shot into the air, and the dam was breached. The Bloede Dam removal is one of the largest and most complicated in NOAA’s history, and a major victory for fish and communities along the Patapsco River in Maryland.  

Brown mink standing on rock next to stream surrounded by plants.

Mink numbers low in PCB-laden Hudson River, study finds

This week the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), NOAA’s co-trustee on the Hudson River hazardous waste site, issued a press release and fact sheet about a new study on mink.

Two excavator machines work on building a shoreline project. A barge holding materials is in the water offshore.

Draft Amendment to Chalk Point Restoration Plan Released for Public Comment

NOAA and co-Trustees restoring resources damaged from a 2000 oil spill at Chalk Point in Maryland have released a Draft Amendment to the 2002 Restoration Plan for public comment.

Case Pages:

First responders set out oil sorbent pads and boom on Prall’s Island in the days following the spill.

Exxon Bayway

Oil Spill | Linden, New Jersey | January 1990

 

What Happened?

On January 1 and 2, 1990, #2 fuel oil spilled from the Exxon Bayway facility’s underwater pipeline in Linden, New Jersey. Approximately 567,000 gallons were released directly into the Arthur Kill, a saltwater channel between New Jersey and Staten Island.

South Branch Creek and Piles Creek are tidal tributaries that discharge to the Arthur Kill, a tidal strait located between New Jersey and Staten Island.

Piles Creek

Hazardous Waste Site | Linden, New Jersey | Late 1800s to present

Manufacturing of dyes, surfactant, pesticides, and other industrial chemicals and products began on the Tremley Point peninsula in Linden, New Jersey as early as 1889. Chlorine gas production, using a process that involved mercury, began here in 1955 and continued through 1985. Wastes and wastewaters emptied directly and indirectly to Piles Creek, South Branch Creek, the Arthur Kill, and their associated tidal wetlands. Mercury, arsenic, other metals, SVOCs, and other toxic substances were released into the surrounding environment.

After the Chalk Point oil spill in Maryland in 2000, a NOAA scientist samples sediment to determine the impact on bottom-dwelling creatures.

Chalk Point

Oil Spill | Patuxent River, Maryland | April 2000

 

What Happened?

On April 7, 2000, a 12-inch oil pipeline ruptured underground at the Pepco Chalk Point electric generating facility in Aquasco, Maryland. Approximately 140,000 gallons of oil spilled into Swanson Creek, a small tributary of the Patuxent River. The oil moved over containment booms, ultimately affecting approximately 40 linear miles of environmentally sensitive downstream creeks and shorelines along the Patuxent River.

 

Alewife are spawning in the lake again, most likely for the first time since the creek was impounded more than 175 years ago.

Liberty Industrial Finishing

Hazardous Waste Site | Massapequa Creek, Farmingdale NY | 1930’s to Present

 

Hempstead Harbor successfully restored its salt marsh a few years ago, and will use the funds to remove invasive plants as part of its long term management efforts.

Mattiace Petrochemical

Hazardous Waste Site | Glen Cove, NY | 1960s to Present

The Mattiace Petrochemical Co., Inc. site is located adjacent to Garvies Point Preserve along the north shore of Glen Cove Creek, a tributary to Hempstead Harbor on the north shore of Long Island. Beginning in the 1960s, chemical storage, blending, repackaging, and drum cleaning took place on site. Drum cleaning wastes were stored in a wet well and a leaching pool where they contaminated groundwater. Hazardous wastes reached the creek via runoff, underground piping, and groundwater discharge.

Hudson River shoreline looking south from a location just upriver. Contamination found within and below the river sediments shown in this photo.

Quanta Resources Corporation

Hazardous Waste Site | Edgewater, NJ | 1930 to present

The Quanta Resources Corporation site in Edgewater, NJ, is a former oil and tar storage and recycling facility on approximately 8 acres. The site is adjacent to the lower Hudson River, approximately 9.9 miles upstream of Upper New York Bay.

Piles of floating plastic trash litter the site. Proposed trashracks will capture and remove this material from the watershed.

68th Street

Hazardous Waste Site | Rosedale, Maryland | 1953 – 1970

 

A warning sign cautions people can be exposed to site-related contaminants at Tidal Ferry Creek.

Raymark Industries, Inc.

Hazardous Waste Site | Stratford, CT | 1919 to Present

Beginning in 1919, Raymark Industries, Inc. manufactured automotive parts at a 34-acre property along the Housatonic River estuary. Raymark initially disposed of manufacturing wastes on-site, but waste materials were also released to Ferry Creek via a culvert from on-site waste lagoons. Lagoon waste sludge was also used as fill on multiple residential, commercial, and municipal properties in Stratford, and in several wetland sites draining to the Housatonic River.

In 1996, the tank barge North Cape and the tugboat Sandia grounded off the coast of Rhode Island resulting the worst oil spill in the state's history.

North Cape

Oil Spill | Block Island Sound, RI | January 1996

 

What Happened?

On January 19, 1996, the tank barge, North Cape, and the tugboat, Scandia, grounded off Moonstone Beach in southwestern Rhode Island, spilling an estimated 828,000 gallons of home heating oil. This spill was the worst in Rhode Island history, with oil spreading throughout a broad area of Block Island Sound and beyond, including shoreline of the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

View of the Penobscot River looking just north of the site from the southeast side of the river.

Gulf-Chevron Terminal Facility

Oil Spill | Hampden, Maine |

 

The Talbot Mills Dam in Billerica, Massachusetts, has been in this location since 1711.

Nyanza

Hazardous Waste Site | Ashland, MA | 1917 – 1978

What Happened?

Between 1917 and 1978, Nyanza, Inc. and other companies manufactured textile dyes and other products at this site. Their operations generated large volumes of industrial waste and they contaminated the soil, groundwater and wetlands of the Sudbury River. Mercury, chromium, arsenic, lead and organic compounds were released and reached as far downstream as the Concord River.

Fish community survey on Newtown Creek.

Newtown Creek

Hazardous Waste and Oil Spill Site | New York City, NY | Late 1800s to Present 

Volunteers assisting in the 2003 installation of saltmarsh plants and geese exclusion fencing/flagging.

Applied Environmental Services

Hazardous Waste Site | Glenwood Landing, NY | 1939 to Present

The Applied Environmental Services Superfund Site is located on Hempstead Harbor in Long Island Sound. Starting in 1939 the site was used at various times to store petroleum products, chemical solvents, and hazardous waste. Improper handling and storage of waste oil, heavy metals, solvents, acids, paints, and other toxic substances contaminated groundwater, surface water, soils, sediments, and air.

Acushnet Sawmill Dam prior to removal

New Bedford Harbor

Hazardous Waste Release |New Bedford Harbor, MA| 1940s – 1970s

New Bedford Harbor is a major commercial fishing port and industrial center in southeastern Massachusetts on Buzzards Bay. From the 1940s to the 1970s, manufacturers discharged wastes containing  PCBs and toxic metals into New Bedford Harbor. This resulted in high levels of contamination throughout the waters, sediments, plants, and wildlife of the Harbor and parts of Buzzards Bay.

The former coal tar processing facility pier. Photo by Alan Fowler of BBL inc.

Island End River

Hazardous Waste Site | Everett, MA | 1890s to Present

Electronic parts and components, including capacitors, were manufactured and transformer oils were tested at the Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Inc. facility from 1936 through 1962.

Cornell-Dubilier Electronics

Hazardous Waste Site | South Plainfield, NJ | 1930s to Present

Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc. manufactured electronic components on this 26-acre property from 1936 to 1962. PCBs, metals, and other hazardous substances were released into the surrounding environment, including a stream on the property which flows into Bound Brook, a tributary of the Lower Raritan River.

After contamination was removed from the site, stream restoration, shown here, was completed.

Spectron

Hazardous Waste Site | Elkton, MD | 1961 to Present 

Beginning in 1961, a solvent recycling facility here contaminated soils and groundwater with VOCs. These substances were released into the adjacent Little Elk Creek, which flows into the Elk River, a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.

Lordship beach after remediation.

Lordship Point

Hazardous Waste Site | Stratford, CT | 1920s to Present

What Happened?

The Remington Gun Club operated a skeet shooting range at Lordship Point beginning in the 1920s. The peninsula is located at the mouth of the Housatonic River estuary, where it empties into Long Island Sound. An estimated 4.8 million pounds of lead gun shot from the firing range contaminated on-site uplands, salt marshes, and shallow water habitats adjacent to the site.

A fishway, or fish ladder, was constructed as part of the restoration effort to help herring travel upstream.

Rose Hill Landfill

Hazardous Waste Site | South Kingstown, RI | 1960s to Present

This abandoned quarry adjacent to the Saugatucket River was used for the disposal of household and industrial wastes from 1967 until 1983. The site included 27 acres of solid waste, 15 acres of sewage sludge, and an 11-acre bulky waste disposal area. Elevated levels of toxic metals leached from the landfill via groundwater to Mitchell Brook, the Saugatucket River, and Saugatucket Pond.

Wild rice is one of several species reintroduced to East Foundry Cove marsh as part of on-going efforts to reconstruct the wetland following remediation in 1995.

Marathon Battery

Hazardous Waste Site | Cold Spring, NY | 1952 to Present

General Electric plant on the Hudson River.

Hudson River

Hazardous Waste Site | Hudson Falls, NY | 1947 to Present

Beginning in 1947 and continuing for approximately 30 years, General Electric (GE) Company released more than a million pounds of PCBs into the upper Hudson River. These chemicals were a byproduct of GE’s industrial operations at Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, New York. Since then, ongoing discharges of PCBs have continued from sediments and underground sources.

Housatonic River.

Housatonic River

Between 1932 and 1977, the General Electric Company (GE) released PCBs polychlorinated biphenyls; a class of chemicals previously used in manufacturing that remain in the environment for many decades, accumulate in living creatures, and pose health hazards to humans, wildlife, and fish. and other chemical wastes into the Housatonic River.

Cleanup workers collect oiled debris from sand beach, South Dartmouth, MA.

Bouchard Barge 120

On April 27, 2003, the tank barge Bouchard 120 hit a bedrock ledge in Buzzards Bay. The impact created a 12-foot rupture in the barge’s hull. An estimated 98,000 gallons of oil spilled into the coastal waters of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Looking downstream at the Metal Bank site and mudflats on the Delaware River in 1991.

Metal Bank

Hazardous Waste Site | Philadelphia, PA | 1962 to Present

 

Berry's Creek Canal looking east towards Manhattan Island.

Berry’s Creek Watershed

Hazardous Waste Site | Wood-Ridge, East Rutherford, and Carlstadt, NJ | 1929 to Present

Starting in 1929, several industrial facilities released mercury, PCBs, PAHs, VOCs, and other hazardous substances into Berry’s Creek and the surrounding area.

 Contamination is found in sediment from the Dundee Dam to the mouth of the river, throughout Newark Bay, and other portions of the New York/New Jersey Harbor.

Lower Passaic River and Greater Newark Bay

Hazardous Waste Site | New Jersey | 1940s to present

In the 1950s and 1960s, Agent Orange was manufactured at a facility on the banks of the Lower Passaic River (LPR). One of the byproducts of its production, the toxin TCDD was released into the estuary.

Athos I lists to starboard the day after the spill began.

M/T Athos I

On November 26, 2004, the M/T Athos I hit several submerged objects in the Delaware River while preparing to dock at a refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey. A nine-ton anchor punctured the vessel’s bottom, releasing nearly 265,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River and nearby tributaries.

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A black-necked Stilt and Snowy Egrets in restored wetland habitat. Photo provided courtesy of Chevron.

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