Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:


Cleanup Activities

On this page:

On related pages:


The Riverside Industrial Park site includes both current and former manufacturing and packaging facilities, some of which are vacant, at 29 Riverside Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. The 7-acre site is located in a mixed residential and commercial/heavy industrial area. From 1902 to 1971, the property was used for paint, resins, linseed oil and varnish manufacturing by Patton Paint Company, which merged into the Paint and Varnish Division of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in 1920. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company changed its name to PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG) in 1968.  From the 1970s to the present day, the site was subdivided into fifteen lots  and the property has been used by various companies for a variety of businesses from chemical packaging to chemical and cosmetics manufacturing. Although this is currently an active industrial park, there are several abandoned portions of the property which are owned by the City of Newark through foreclosures.

. In October 2009, EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection responded to a reported oil spill into the Passaic River near the site. The effluent was observed coming from a pipe on the property and the source was later traced to two basement storage tanks in a vacant building on the site. After investigating the discharge point and source, EPA initiated an emergency removal action to stop the discharge and secure the source. Further investigation of that immediate area within the site led to the discovery of multiple potentially immediate threats including:
-    10 abandoned 12,000- to 15,000-gallon underground storage tanks containing hazardous wastes in a tank farm adjacent to the vacant building,
-    approximately one hundred 3,000- to 10,000-gallon above-ground storage tanks with a number of 55-gallon drums,
-    smaller containers in two buildings on-site, and
-    hazardous liquid and sludge in two basement vaults of one of the vacant buildings.

From 2009 through 2014, EPA’s short-term cleanup program conducted several quick cleanup activities to eliminate the immediate threats identified as a result of the investigation of the oil spill into the Passaic River. After taking immediate action to protect human health and the environment and performing site investigations, EPA proposed the site for listing on the National Priorities List in September 2012.  Riverside Industrial Park was finalized on the National Priorities List in May 2013. In May 2014, EPA entered into a legal agreement with PPG, one of the 18 Potentially Responsible Parties identified at the site, to perform a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS). The RI/FS is ongoing.


Top of Page

What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Immediate Actions: In 2009, a spill of oily material into the Passaic River was reported and traced back to a pipe on the property. EPA investigated and discovered that chemicals including benzene, mercury, chromium, and arsenic were improperly stored at the site. In assessing the areas of the site adjacent to the discharge source, EPA discovered multiple potentially immediate threats to human health and the environment, including numerous storage tanks, both above and below ground, containing a variety of hazardous industrial wastes and solvents. Two underground tanks and most of the other containers were removed by EPA in 2012. The two basement vaults were emptied of the hazardous liquid and sludge in 2014.

Long-term Cleanup: Sampling during those initial investigations revealed that soil, groundwater, and storage tanks at the site are contaminated with VOCs, SVOCs, metals, and PCBs. Certain VOCs are probable human carcinogens and PCBs are potential cancer-causing chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems of people and animals. These risks are being assessed and EPA will determine what additional work is needed in order to reduce or eliminate potential threats from the site.

Top of Page

What Is the Current Site Status?

The site is being addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial phase focused on cleanup of the entire site.

From 2009 through 2014, EPA took immediate actions to prevent any further discharge into the river by plugging discharge pipes and securing the source. EPA also took immediate actions to eliminate the immediate threats identified during the investigations of the areas adjacent to the source of the discharge.

Additional site investigations and planning for the site’s long-term cleanup are ongoing.

Top of Page