First Environment is providing Environmental Liability Transfer, Inc. (ELT) with environmental technical support for the redevelopment of the former American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) site located in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The site was first developed in March 1894 by M. Guggenheim, who bought the land and erected lead and copper refinery buildings. ASARCO acquired the operations in 1901 and expanded them until operations ceased in 1976. Perth Amboy 1160, LLC purchased the property during the ASARCO bankruptcy proceedings with the intention of remediating the property for future redevelopment. The site is currently being addressed as part of the iPort 440 Brownfields Development Area (BDA) and the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Association (PARA). First Environment is working closely with the BDA manager and other entities to ensure seamless redevelopment of the entire BDA.
This complex Brownfields remediation project incorporates multiple aspects of site investigation and remediation, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) involvement due to the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) above Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) levels, the use of self-implementing plans, complex permitting, wetland and coastal areas, and waterfront redevelopment. There is also a focus on long-term regional planning, development, and revitalization in this historic industrial area of Perth Amboy.
In August 2009, First Environment developed a Conceptual Site Model (CSM) and cost estimate for the investigation and remediation of the property. Based on extensive remedial investigations, First Environment determined that the site was substantially impacted with PCBs and metals as a result of the prior operations, including smelting and refining, and historic re-use of the building rubble and concrete for site-wide filling. To address the PCB impacts, First Environment coordinated with EPA Region 2 and developed a self-implementing plan to restrict the use of select portions of the property and remove all soils that exceeded certain TSCA levels.
In addition, the presence of the site within an ecologically-sensitive tidelands area as well as a Brownfields redevelopment area has resulted in additional involvement by federal and state regulators, city officials, and local non-profit environmental organizations. In response, First Environment has maintained close coordination with involved parties by participating in quarterly Brownfields Redevelopment Authority meetings, scheduling frequent meetings with regulators, and coordinating with adjacent remediation sites.
First Environment’s personnel have been responsible for all aspects of the work plan development and implementation of soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment sampling and remediation activities, wetlands delineation, and regulatory reporting. In addition, First Environment has managed and implemented the remedial investigation, remediation design, and land use permitting. The project team submitted numerous federal, state, and local land use permit applications for the planned remediation activities due to the location of the site along the Arthur Kill, the scope of the proposed activities, and the presence of several on-site delineated wetlands and state open waters.
Currently the site has fully approved Remedial Action Work Plans to address specific Areas of Concern (AOCs) as well as site-wide conditions, including site-wide fill and groundwater. We are also in the process of implementing the approved remedial actions so that the site can be returned to productive use.