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Maywood Project Site

April 2000 News

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Corps Completes Sediment Removal to Improve Storm Drainage

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently completed a sediment removal project designed to improve storm water drainage in a section of Maywood plagued by flooding problems. More than 400 cubic yards (or approximately 580 tons) of sediment and other debris were removed from a drainage channel and a portion of Lodi Brook. Both areas are part of the Maywood Chemical Company Site. The removal began near the intersection of Maywood and West Howcroft Avenues and ended at Route 17 North, north of Essex Street.

The sediment was blocking storm water flow and contributing to persistent flooding in the area. The material, some of which contained radiological waste associated with the site, was excavated and trucked to the nearby interim storage area for ultimate disposal offsite. The banks of the channels were then hydroseeded and protected from erosion to allow re-establishment of vegetation. USACE representatives worked with Borough of Maywood officials and affected business owners prior to and during the project to ensure that community and commercial impacts were minimized.

Sediment removal Completed project
Sediment removal in progress at the drainage channel near West Howcroft Avenue. The completed project in the same area.

Soil Processing Test Planned

The USACE will test technologies at the Maywood site this summer that have the potential to reduce the time and cost of remediation. Federal regulations for Superfund sites require evaluation of alternatives that reduce the volume, toxicity or mobility of contaminants. The technologies to be tested are called gravel separation and radiological sorting systems.

The gravel separation system screens out soil particles larger than 3/8-inch from excavated material. Prior investigations have shown that the radiological contamination is associated with finer grained material, so these larger particles are radiologically clean. It is anticipated that gravel separation may reduce the volume of material requiring costly offsite disposal by 15 percent. The radiological sorting system passes excavated soil under two groups of detectors that scan 100 percent of the soil. Soil that is below a cleanup standard goes through the system to a clean stockpile that may be reused after additional verification sampling. Soil above a cleanup standard is diverted to a contaminated pile for disposal at an offsite facility.

Radiological sorting system
A typical radiological sorting system

The potential benefits of radiological sorting are:

Both systems offer the potential benefit of reducing cleanup time at the Maywood site. Offsite transportation and disposal is a factor in how quickly properties are remediated. Reducing the volume of soil requiring offsite disposal can shorten the time needed to complete the cleanup. More information on these tests will be presented at an upcoming public information session (see below).

Site Status Update

The USACE continues to move toward cleanup of the 25 remaining commercial and government properties included in the Maywood site. Pre-design investigations to supplement previously collected data and further refine the limits of soil contamination have been completed on all but one property. Locations of underground utilities and buried metallic objects such as drums were also identified in this effort.

Pre-design investigations include soil sampling with a truck-mounted drill rig. Field work for a study known as the groundwater remedial investigation also kicked off in March. This work involves groundwater sampling and other tests at newly installed monitoring wells and boring locations. Data will also be collected at existing wells installed for earlier studies. The study will assess the impact, if any, the Maywood site is having on groundwater. The potential for health and ecological risks from groundwater contaminants will be examined once the remedial investigation is complete. Sample collection and analysis for the groundwater investigation is expected to be completed this summer.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Public Information Session
April 18, 2000 - 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Trinka Hall, Maywood Public Library (lower level)
459 Maywood Avenue, Maywood
Please call 201.843.7466 or for further information
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You are invited to a public information session on the Maywood site (see box above). Information on current and planned activities will be provided, and Army Corps representatives will be available to respond to comments and questions. The setting will be informal to promote open and meaningful discussion between all participants. Please join us.

We always welcome your comments and questions. To contact us, please call the FUSRAP Public Information Center at (201) 843-7466 or visit us at 75A West Pleasant Avenue, Maywood. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. After-hours callers can leave a message and we will return your call promptly.

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