Skip to main content

EPA Announces Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funds for Cleanups at Three Superfund Sites in New Jersey

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that three New Jersey Superfund sites are among the over 100 sites across the country getting more than $1 billion for cleanup projects as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This funding is made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will launch new cleanup projects at 25 Superfund sites and continue other cleanups at over 85 Superfund sites. The New Jersey Superfund sites included are the Matlack, Inc. site in Woolwich, the Raritan Bay Slag site in Old Bridge Township, and the Roebling Steel site in Florence Township. 

Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed. These sites can include toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mining, and can harm the health and well-being of local communities in urban and rural areas. More than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site.  

"People living in New Jersey, which has the most Superfund sites in the nation, have seen firsthand how transformative the Superfund program can be for communities,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia.  “This investment in America and in New Jersey builds on the historic progress we have already made in recent years to ensure that communities living near the most serious uncontrolled, or abandoned contaminated sites get the protections they deserve.”  

"Superfund sites pose serious threats to human health, increasing the risks of cancer, birth defects, and other serious illnesses that fall disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color,” said Senator Cory Booker. “These cleanup projects will revitalize three Superfund sites in critical need in our state, which has the most Superfund sites in the nation. I’ve championed the cleanup of contaminated sites since I was Mayor of Newark, and I’m proud to work with the Biden-Harris Administration to address contamination and protect our state’s public and environmental health. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering real results by investing in cleaner air, water, and soil for our communities.”

“Superfund sites threaten public and environmental health across the country, but with today’s announcement, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is continuing to deliver on the promise we made to clean up backlogged sites and give our communities the peace of mind they deserve,” said Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “For dozens of communities, today’s funding is a welcome assurance that help is on the way. I appreciate the Biden Administration’s commitment to transforming communities that have been impacted by toxic contamination and applaud EPA for moving swiftly to put the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s resources to work.”

“I voted to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law so we could fix the persistent shortcomings in our nation’s infrastructure, including cleanup of hazardous Superfund sites. It is terrific news that this site in Florence Township will now have an influx of critical, federal funding to help complete what has been a decades-long cleanup process. I am proud to see our infrastructure investments continue to come to New Jersey and propel projects like this that desperately need attention. For the health and safety of our communities and environment, we need to continue essential work like this to protect the waterways and ecosystems in and around the Delaware River and across the nation,” said Representative Andy Kim.

“My DEP colleagues and I express our gratitude to the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for making these funds available to advance cleanup progress at Superfund sites in Woolwich, Old Bridge and Florence,” said New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “The President’s Investing In America initiative is really, at its heart, an investment in our communities. With the addition of this round of funding, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has enabled the DEP over the years to leverage more than $80 million in funding on remediation work in other communities across New Jersey, many of which are historically disadvantaged or overburdened. This partnership exemplifies the continued reach of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in bringing positive outcomes to thousands of communities across the nation.”

The Matlack, Inc. site is a 79-acre property along Route 322 in Woolwich, New Jersey. From 1962 to 2001, the site was used for cleaning trucks and tankers that transported various hazardous substances, including flammable and corrosive liquids. The contaminated cleaning solution was put in an unlined lagoon behind the terminal building until 1976. In addition to the lagoon, EPA found contamination was coming from the Drum Disposal Area of the site. Primary contaminants of concern are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and various chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs).   

The EPA BIL funding will be used to clean up the Drum Disposal Area of the Matlack site using a thermal treatment technique that will extract contaminant vapors from soil and groundwater. As part of the cleanup, samples will be taken of the soil and groundwater to confirm the treatment worked. This work is estimated to be worth about $30 million. 

The Raritan Bay Slag site is in the Townships of Old Bridge and Sayreville in New Jersey and includes about 1.5 miles of the waterfront of Raritan Bay. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, lead-containing waste slag was deposited along the seawall and jetty sectors of the site. In 2007, elevated concentrations of lead and other metals were identified in soil, water, and sediment. The site is organized into three sectors, which are the Seawall Sector, the Jetty Sector and the Margaret’s Creek Sector. EPA completed a full cleanup of the Margaret’s Creek Sector in September 2018, including restoration of impacted wetland areas. 

The EPA BIL funding will be used to do initial, preparatory and contracting work associated with the Seawall Sector of the Raritan Bay Slag site. The estimated value of this work is $1 million. The future work that the BIL-funded preparation work supports, will include excavation of all source materials and contaminated soil and sediment, sampling and restoration of the areas. 

The 200-acre Roebling Steel Company site, which is next to the Delaware River in Florence Township, New Jersey, was used to manufacture steel products. The site included two inactive sludge lagoons and an abandoned landfill. The soil was contaminated with heavy metals like lead, chromium, and cadmium. The nearby river, creek and wetland sediment were also contaminated with lead, chromium, copper, and hazardous oils and tars. EPA has been cleaning up the site in stages since 1991. EPA has worked to address contaminated structures, soils, sediments, groundwater, and slag contaminated areas across the site. 

In 2022, EPA used BIL funding to monitor groundwater, cap a portion of the site, and decontaminate, demolish, and conduct historic mitigation of remaining buildings on site. The funds announced today will be applied to cap the remaining 100 acres of the site, including a slag area. The cap will include stormwater drainage and an access road for maintenance. EPA will apply approximately $2 million to initiate the new phase of work.  

Today’s investment is the final wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. So far, EPA has deployed more than $2 billion for cleanup activities at more than 150 Superfund National Priorities List sites. Thanks President Biden’s commitment to addressing legacy pollution and improving public health, EPA has been able to provide as much funding for cleanup work in the past two years as it did in the previous five years while delivering on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. 

EPA is committed to advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process.  Thus far, nearly 80% of the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has gone to sites in communities with potential environmental justice concerns. Out of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, more than 75% are in communities with potential environmental justice concerns based on data from EJSCREEN

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is restoring the health and economic vitality of communities that have been exposed to pervasive legacy pollution. The historic investment made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law strengthens every part of the Superfund program, making a dramatic difference in EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment. In addition to funding cleanup construction work, the investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and to ensure communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process. In 2023, EPA continued to fund Superfund pre-construction activities such as remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement at double pre-Bipartisan Infrastructure Law levels. 

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA), known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

To see a list of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, visit EPA’s Superfund webpage.

To see highlights from the first two years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding at Superfund sites, visit EPA’s Cleaning Up Superfund Sites: Highlights of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding website.

  For more information about EPA’s Superfund program, visit EPA’s Superfund website

Follow EPA Region 2 on X and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.