Pompton Lake Cleanup Project Q&A Session

With the second phase of Pompton Lake cleanup underway, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just released “Questions & Answers” document regarding the dredging/soil removal project.

Lake bottom sediment was contaminated with mercury and lead from the DuPont (now Chemours) Pompton Lakes Works Site in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey.

What work will be completed in 2017 as part of the environmental clean-up of Pompton Lake by Chemours?

EPA: The Pompton Lake Study Area work scheduled to be completed in 2017 includes hydraulic dredging of a 36-acre area known as the Acid Brook Delta (ABD), processing and offsite disposal of contaminated sediment and placement of an ecological layer over the ABD, Area A and the Island Area.

Completion of this work per the projected schedule is contingent on factors such as weather, unanticipated site conditions, etc. Mechanical dredging of contaminated sediment in Area A and the Island Area (in addition to other work) was completed in 2016.

How are concerns about boat traffic near the work area being addressed?

EPA: Access to the lake by residents in the areas where the turbidity containment Systems (i.e. turbidity curtain) are installed (which demarcate the boundary where dredging will be performed) will be limited.

The turbidity curtain is manufactured to be in compliance with United States Coast Guard requirements for visibility and the top of the turbidity curtain is bright orange. Boundaries are clearly marked with lights and high visibility buoys.

Chemours’ contractor, Sevenson Environmental Services has added additional lighting to the curtain where the manufacturer has provided pockets for the lights. Several pencil buoys along the curtain will be installed as well.

Boaters on the lake are asked to mindful of the speed limit on the lake. With respect to night time boaters, the town ordinance restricts operation of motor or power boats on the lake to one hour after sunset.

Where will contaminated sediment be collected and staged?

EPA: The hydraulic dredging unit is capable of removing 50 to 120 cubic yards per hour on average. Pipeline transport of the dredged sediment will be via slurry using high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe and will be used as a direct route from the hydraulic dredge to the staging/processing area.

The processing/staging area is the same as utilized during the 2016 soil excavation/sediment dredging although the work area is reconfigured for the 2017 hydraulic dredging. Hydraulically dredged sediment from the ABD will be processed via sequential solidification and compression to prepare the material for transport from the lakeshore staging area.

Will contaminated soil/sediment be removed from the Borough of Pompton Lakes?

EPA: Yes, impacted soil and sediment will be processed and shipped to an off-site licensed facility for final disposal.

How is the liquid that is going to be de-watered during the dredging process being treated?

EPA: Water from the dredged sediment will be collected and processed pursuant to the requirements of a modified permit that will be issued by the NJDEP. The specific requirements of the modified permit are being discussed with NJDEP.

The permit issued by NJDEP for this year’s dredging will incorporate modifications proposed by Chemours that include increased filtration and chemical treatment to address dissolved metals and total organic carbon (TOC) prior to discharge. The modifications are based on the observations and results of the 2016 sediment dredging operations.

The water treatment system proposed to be installed (subject to NJDEP approval to requested permit modifications) will handle all decontamination water, rainwater coming in contact with the stored sediments, and filtrate (i.e. the de-watered liquid) from the filter presses.

Will there be processing of sediment 24 hours/per day, 7 days per week?

EPA: No. Sediment processing will occur during established work hours (7AM to 7PM, Monday through Friday). Chemours would notify the Borough of Pompton Lakes and EPA of the need for work on the weekends and EPA would, in turn, notify the community as was done during the 2016 work. Noise will be monitored pursuant to the Corrective Measures Implementation Work Plan dated April 2016.

Will there be government oversight available to monitor the environmental clean-up in the Pompton Lake Study Area?

EPA: We and/or the United States Army Corps of Engineers will provide field oversight during the implementation of the environmental clean-up of the Pompton Lake Study Area. EPA will continue to be available to address concern/complaints from the community.

In addition, EPA’s Community Involvement Coordinator (Pat Seppi) and Project Manager (Perry Katz) would continue to serve as points-of-contact should issues arise.

The Passaic County Health Department as well as the Borough of Pompton Lakes Environmental Officer have also supplemented EPA’s oversight efforts with field visits/inspections during the 2016 work and will continue to do so in 2017.

What is the truck route?

EPA: The traffic route for trucks traveling to or from the Pompton Lakes Works site (which is where trucks will be staged) is as follows:

  • South along Cannonball Road;
  • West along Wanaque Avenue;
  • South along Ringwood Avenue;
  • East along Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike to Terhune Drive (US 202);
  • North on Terhune Drive (US 202) to Lakeside Avenue;
  • West on Lakeside Ave. over the bridge, and
  • West on Lakeview Ave. to the site entrance.

The route designated for trucks hauling contaminated sediment to the landfill for disposal is as

  • East on Lakeside Ave. to the stop at the bridge;
  • East on Lakeside Ave. over the bridge to Terhune Ave. (US 202);
  • South on Terhune Ave. (US 202) to Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike;
  • North on Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike; and
  • West on Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike to I-287 Interchange 53.

In 2016, the EPA oversaw the first phase of cleanup work, which was performed by Chemours and included the removal, processing and off-site disposal of 28,810 cubic yards of soil and sediment.

Water from dredged sediment was treated and released back to the lake under a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection permit. Treated water met the required discharge criteria with the exception of one release.