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EPA Concludes Cleanup Complete at the Montclair / West Orange and Glen Ridge Radium Sites No Action Needed on Ground Water

Release Date: 06/28/2005
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For Release: Tuesday, June 28, 2005

(#05076) NEW YORK - After extensive study and assessment of potential risk, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that the ground water at the Montclair/West Orange and Glen Ridge Radium Sites in Essex County, New Jersey does not require any cleanup. The conclusions of the study and assessment mean that cleanup work is done at the sites. The Agency will take public comment and hold a public meeting and information sessions on this proposed

"With the cleanup complete, EPA has achieved its goal of protecting the people and the environment in the affected communities," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "I encourage the public to continue its active involvement in the site and comment on our proposal."

The Montclair/West Orange and Glen Ridge Radium sites were contaminated with radioactive waste materials suspected to have come from radium processing companies located nearby during the early 1900's. Some of the radium-contaminated soil was used as fill or was mixed with cement for sidewalks and foundations. In 1983, the state of New Jersey discovered homes with high levels of radon gas from the decay of radium in the soil, as well as high levels of indoor and outdoor gamma radiation. In response, EPA installed radon ventilation systems and gamma radiation shielding in affected homes. The sites were listed on the National Priorities List of the nation's most hazardous waste sites in February 1985.

After performing an extensive scientific study of the nature and extent of the contamination, EPA excavated and disposed of all radium-contaminated soil and restored the affected properties. EPA completed excavation activities in December 2004, removing and disposing of approximately 220,000 cubicyards of radiologically- contaminated soil and debris, and filling in the excavated areas with clean soil.

At the time EPA decided how to clean up the contaminated soil, the Agency also recognized the need to examine potential impacts from the radiological contamination to ground water. EPA performed a study, which shows the ground water meets drinking water standards for radiological contaminants and that radon levels in the ground water are consistent with regional background levels.

Copies of site-related documents and the proposed cleanup plan are available for public review at:

Montclair Public Library
50 S. Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, New Jersey
(973) 780-2041
West Orange Mayor's Office
66 Main Street
West Orange, New Jersey
(973) 325-4100
Glen Ridge Public Library
240 Ridgewood Avenue
Glen Ridge, New Jersey
(973) 748-5482
EPA's New York office
290 Broadway
New York, NY 10007

The public comment period began on June 20 and will end on July 30, 2005.

EPA will hold a public meeting at the Nishuane School, 32 Cedar Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey at 7:00 pm on June 29, 2005 to explain the Agency's proposed plan for ground water. In addition, EPA will hold public information sessions on July 12 and July 13, 2005 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at the EPA trailer compound at 1 Oak Street, Montclair, New Jersey.

The Project Manager, Mr. Fred Cataneo, will accept written or verbal comments at the public meeting and public information sessions, or via mail at: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th floor, New York, N.Y. 10007-1866; telephone: 212-637-4428, or email:

For more information about the Montclair/West Orange and Glen Ridge Radium sites, please visit the EPA Web sites, and