DEP Launch Plan to Speed Cleanup of 10 Contaminated Sites
Along Delaware River
(WEST DEPTFORD) - Acting Governor Richard J. Codey today
announced a new effort to speed the cleanup of 10 major
contaminated sites along the Delaware River. The effort
includes a no-tolerance policy for delays by companies responsible
for cleaning contaminated sites, and the use of tough enforcement
"Historically we have approached contaminated sites
as individual cases, instead of identifying specific regions
of New Jersey that need to be protected," Codey said.
"But a regional approach will create better results
for the environment. It will let us focus on the sites that
will have the greatest impact on a region’s well being."
"Our plan for the Delaware River will focus on zero
tolerance for delays," the Acting Governor continued.
"We are saying ‘Time’s up’ for cleanups
that are behind schedule."
The initiative, launched by Codey and the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection, represents a new region-based
approach to clean up contaminated sites. The 10 sites targeted
in this initiative will have the greatest immediate impact
on improving the quality of the Delaware River. The sites
border the river in Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties.
"Enough is enough on slow cleanups where contamination
threatens the Delaware River," said DEP Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell. "As shad make their way up this
majestic waterway to spawn, we need to maintain our resolve
to eliminate potential pollution sources at these sites.
The Delaware not only serves as a drinking water supply
for thousands of New Jersey residents, it also provides
great recreation for anglers and boaters."
Codey and Cambpell announced the initiative today during
a press conference at RiverWinds Community Center in West
Deptford. Also present was Delaware River Basin Commission
Executive Director Carol R. Collier.
"The Delaware River Basin Commission fully supports
this proactive, region-based approach by New Jersey to protect
the river," DRBC Executive Director Collier said. "This
will certainly assist the multi-state efforts led by the
commission to reduce the level of toxics in the tidal river
Under this initiative:
- If companies fail to live up to their cleanup agreements,
the DEP will terminate those agreements, issue possible
fines, and issue specific cleanup directives.
- If companies still refuse to cooperate and the DEP
has to take over cleanup duties with public funds, the
state will pursue those companies for triple the amount
that is spent in state funds.
- The DEP will penalize companies that do cleanup work
that turns out to be unacceptable.
- For sites where the responsible parties are cooperating,
the DEP will make sure the work gets done as quickly as
- In cases where the companies responsible have gone
bankrupt, the DEP will work to quickly clean those sites
using state brownfields and other cleanup funds.
"We have already told ExxonMobil they are moving too
slowly to clean up a Delaware River site they are responsible
for in Gloucester County. We have terminated our voluntary
agreement with them and have directed them to sign a new,
enforceable timeline, or face penalties as high as $50,000
per violation per day," Codey said.
In September the DEP launched a similar region-based effort
targeting contaminated sites along the Raritan River. That
effort has had significant success.
As a result of the Raritan River effort, the DEP announced
yesterday (April 21) the approval of a privately-funded
$13.2 million PCB cleanup at the Hatco Site in Woodbridge
Township and the preservation of a separate 34-acre parcel
to compensate the state for injuries to natural resources.
For the Delaware River initiative, the DEP will examine
other sites it will add to the initial 10 that are targeted
Reporters can obtain details on the 10 Delaware
River sites’ locations, responsible companies, history
and other information from the Related Links below or by
calling the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection