On March 18, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that includes a 18.75-mile stretch of the Lower Hackensack River in northern New Jersey (Bergen and Hudson Counties) as one of 5 sites added to the Superfund Proposed National Priorities List (NPL). The publishing of the proposed rule opens a 60-day period to provide comments on the proposed listing that USEPA will consider in determining if the Lower Hackensack River will be listed on the Superfund NPL.
The Lower Hackensack River, its tributaries, and surrounding wetlands have been impacted by industrial and urban development for more than 200 years. The findings of investigations conducted in the Hackensack River to date indicate elevated concentrations of arsenic, lead, chromium, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other constituents in river sediments.
EHS Support has already been working in the Hackensack River watershed to understand the state of knowledge regarding historical and current environmental conditions, including the sources and pathways of chemical and physical stressors that may impact human health and ecological receptors. Our foundational knowledge of the Hackensack River watershed provides the basis to assess the relative impacts on human and ecological resources within the waterway and to guide the development of remediation and restoration strategies that maximize ecological and societal benefits, particularly for the communities most affected by waterway impacts.
In addition to the Lower Hackensack River and other proposed NPL sites, the USEPA also added 12 new sites to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in a rule published to the Federal Register on March 16, 2022. As of this rulemaking, the Superfund NPL includes 1,334 uncontrolled hazardous waste sites regulated by USEPA under the Superfund Program.