New Jersey/New York
Pennsylvania Mines Demonstration
Between 1998 and 2001, the New Jersey Department of Transportations
Office of Maritime Resources (NJDOT/OMR), assessed
the technical and economic feasibility (pdf 53k) of processing and shipping dredged materials to abandoned
mines in Pennsylvania for use in remediation efforts.
Abandoned mine reclamation is a priority environmental issue for Pennsylvania
and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has offered
cooperation in the evaluation of the use of amended dredged materials
for fill and capping material.
Capping the mines serves to restore the natural topography and eliminate
exposure of sulfur-bearing rock to the elements, which has been shown
to cause acid runoff.
A pilot project was sponsored by NJDOT/OMR in 1998 involving the dredging,
processing and shipment of 19,500 cubic yards from the public marina
at Perth Amboy. This material was successfully placed at the Bark
Camp Abandoned Mine Reclamation Laboratory in Clearfield County, PA.
An additional 400,000 cubic yards of material from various locations
in the NY/NJ Harbor were subsequently dredged, processed, shipped
and placed successfully. To date, the State has invested over $11,000,000
in the project. Funding was provided from the Port Authority of NY
and NJ and the 1996 Dredging and Harbor Revitalization Bond Act. A
report (pdf 465k) on the Bark Camp demonstration
project is now available.
Additional information on this project, including water quality data,
is available at the
PADEP Bureau of Abandoned Mines web site.
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to
view the PDF files which is available at our state
Adobe Acrobat Access page.
Air Guard Demonstration
NJDOT/OMR sponsored a demonstration of a sedimentation reduction technology
sold under the name Air Guard. Air Guard is a pneumatic barrier system
designed to reduce sedimentation by reducing the ability of suspended
sediments to settle in the protected area.
A specially engineered pattern of pipes is installed in the berthing
area and air is forced through the pipes to create "bubble curtains."
NJDOT/OMR evaluated the ability of this technology to reduce or eliminate
the need to dredge in "finger pier" style facilities.
The pilot project was conducted at the IMTT facility in Bayonne, and
the report completed in May of 2000.
Sedimentation was significantly reduced compared to reference areas.
No negative environmental impacts to water quality or fish populations
were noted. For more information:
NJDOT/OMR, in conjunction with Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure
and Transportation (CAIT), OENJ-Cherokee, and the NJDOT Dredging Task
Force have completed a field demonstration of the utilization of navigational
dredged material from the Port of NY and NJ in the construction of
The project involved the design, construction and evaluation of two
model embankments built entirely from 80,000 cubic yards of sediment
dredged from the Union Dry Dock in Hoboken. The dredged material was
stabilized to form a soil-like matrix utilizing 8-12 percent Portland
Data was collected on slope stability, strength, constructability
and durability as well as environmental data for worker exposure,
runoff and leaching potential. While it appears that amended dredged
material is potentially suitable and safe for the construction of
highway embankments, there are considerable questions regarding durability,
especially freeze/thaw and costs.
At a minimum, a cost escalation
of $8 per cubic yard is expected for the engineering, placement
and monitoring of the material.
A formal field trial on an actual roadway would be necessary to
further define the parameters for use of amended dredged material
in highway construction.
However, NJDOT/OMR does not recommend further exploration of this
technology due to the logistical issues associated with dredged
material from the port.
Dredging schedules are difficult to predict, making coordination
with construction projects difficult, if not impossible. The fact
that the material was shown to respond negatively to rehandling
contraindicates stockpiling as a potential solution.
However, this does not preclude the use of previously dewatered
dredged material from confined disposal facilities along the Delaware
River and Intercoastal waterways. NJDOT/OMR will continue to explore
this potential beneficial use.
Claremont Channel Dredging
As the agency responsible for safe navigation in state waters of the
NY/NJ Harbor, the NJDOT/OMR took the lead on the maintenance dredging
of the state-owned Claremont Channel in Jersey City.
In 1999, the Claremont Channel was only safely navigable at a depth
of 25 feet, even though it is authorized to be dredged to 32 feet.
Working closely with the main facility on the Channel, Hugo Neu Schnitzer
East, NJDOT/OMR provided funding for dredging and dredged materials
management while also funding research into innovative technologies
for the beneficial use of dredged materials.
Approximately 150,000 cyd of sediment was used in the Pennsylvania
Mines Reclamation Demonstration, another 280,000 cyd of sediment was
used to cap a brownfield site in Jersey City and prepare it for the
construction of a golf course, and another 40,000 cyd for the capping
of Linden Landfill.
Approximately 70,000 cyd was used as a brownfield cap on the Hugo
Neu Schnitzer East property. Approximately 5,000 cyd of sediment was
used to evaluate the use of Propat (shredded auto interiors) as an
agent to stabilize dredged material for use as fill.
The State also provided
capacity for 150,000 cyd of material to be placed in the Newark
Bay Confined Disposal Facility.
The remainder of the material (400,000 cubic yards) has not yet
found a home, but will likely be placed at either the Encap Golf
site in Rutherford or at another brownfield site in the region.
Evaluation of Potential for Pollutants to
Volatilize from Amended Dredged Material
NJDOT/OMR commissioned a lengthy study to evaluate the potential for
contaminants in dredged material to volatilize (move from the sediment
to the air) when the sediment is mixed with stabilizing agents prior
to placement at an upland location. This study was motivated by literature
that suggests that semi-volatile organic compounds like those found
in industrial oils and metals like mercury can become airborne when
dredged materials are placed on land. The potential problem could
easily be exacerbated by the standard practice of adding stabilizing
substances like Portland cement because of the exothermic reaction
that occurs when cement cures. This increased heat might increase
the rate or extent of release of pollutants.
NJDOT/OMR entered into an agreement with
the NJ Marine Sciences Consortium (NJMSC) to provide technical assistance
in this endeavor. NJMSC provided a grant to Rutgers and Stevens
Institute of Technology to perform a thorough study comprised of
both field and laboratory studies. Field efforts included monitoring
of background air concentrations of both polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs) and total gaseous mercury (Hg). Extensive monitoring was
also conducted during and after placement of amended dredged material
using state-of-the-art monitoring tools. The site chosen for this
effort was the former Bayonne City landfill and a former Proctor
and Gamble plant that was being remediated using amended dredged
material by the OENJ-Cherokee Corporation.
Results indicate that
although there is evidence to suggest that contaminents do volatilize
from amended dredged materials, the observed concentrations decline
rapidly after placement are always well below the concentrations
that are of environmental or human health concern. A full
report on the field
study (pdf 2.8m) is available. Laboratory evaluation
of volatilization of Polychlorinated
Biphenyls (PCBs) (pdf 1.3m) and of Mercury
(pdf 1.1m) was conducted to further understand the nature and
extent of this phenomenon. The mercury report also includes
an atmospheric model that demonstrates that sources of contamination
in the region result in contamination that is considerably higher
than any observed from dredged material. In an overall project
summary (pdf 250k), investigators believe that the threat
of air contamination from upland placement of dredged material is
temporary and does not exceed the benefits both from an economic
and environmental standpoint. This conclusion, however, is
specific to the NY/NJ metropolitan area.
Additional raw data for
1 - PCB Background and perimeter analysis (pdf 172k)
2 - PCB Analysis from landfill (pdf 40k)
3 - PCB flux calculations (pdf 24k)
4 - Hourly background Hg readings (pdf 351k)
5 - Hg above sediment (pdf 17k)
6 - Hg Flux (pdf 34k)
7 - Micrometeorology data (pdf 260k)
8 - PCB congener profiles (pdf 104k)
9 - Bergen Pt. Weather station (pdf 202k)