top navigation bar
njdep home about dep index by topic programs and units dep online

new releases


State of New Jersey
Office of the Acting Governor

RELEASE: April 22, 2005

PO BOX 004

Contact: Kelley Heck

Codey, 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 tools.

"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 below Trenton."

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 possible.

  • 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 today.

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 at 609-984-1795.


Related Links

contact us privacy notice legal statement nj home

nj home my new jersey nj people nj business nj government departments