The Hudson/Raritan Estuary is one of
the most significant of the region's environmental
resources. It once harbored a fishery
that rivaled that of the Chesapeake.
As with other projects on the New Jersey
coast, New Jersey Department of Transportations
Office of Maritime Resources (NJDOT/OMR)
is working with its partners to reverse
decades of neglect and misuse. The potential
is there for recovery, and it is a goal
of NJDOT/OMR to work with the resource
community to study and rebuild through
research and the development of sound
Hudson-Raritan Estuary Restoration
The United States Army Corps of Engineers
was authorized to determine the feasibility
of environmental restoration and protection
relating to water resources and sediment
quality within the New York and New Jersey
The Hudson-Raritan Estuary Restoration program,
includes the creation, enhancement, and
restoration of aquatic, wetlands and adjacent
The Reconnaissance Phase Investigation,
completed in June 2000, identified 87 ecosystem
restoration sites for consideration in a
NJDOT/OMR is an Executive Committee member
along with the Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey (non-federal sponsor), New
York Department of Environmental Conservation,
and the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection, New York City Department of
Environmental Protection, New York City
Department of Parks and Recreation, and
New York State Department of State are working
with the United States Army Corps of Engineers
to successfully implement a restoration
effort throughout the Harbor.
Lower Passaic River Remediation and
The United States Army Corp Engineers (USACE),
United States Environmental Protection Administration
(USEPA), and NJDOT/OMR (as nonfederal sponsor)
have been working on an innovative partnership
to comprehensively restore the Passaic River
for the last several years. This governmental
partnership has initiated an Investigation
and Feasibility Study (FS) for comprehensive
remediation and restoration of the Lower
The Lower Passaic is one of the 10 most
contaminated rivers in the country. A six-mile
river segment has been designated an Operable
Unit of the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site.
This area has been the subject of a Remedial
Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS)
pursuant to Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act
(CERCLA) since 1994.
Superfund investigations indicate that the
sediments are contaminated with many constituents
including (but not limited to) dioxin (2,3,7,8-Tetrachloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin
[TCDD]), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs),
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),
and metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, copper,
Contaminated sediments in the river impact
the ecological and human receptors in the
area, limit the potential for waterfront
development and future land use, and are
likely to be a significant contributor to
the contaminant loading in the New York/New
Jersey Harbor. Contaminant loading and its
impact on sediment quality result in significant
economic impacts to the Port of NY and NJ
due to increased cost of navigational dredging.
A USACE Reconnaissance Study for the Comprehensive
Hudson-Raritan Estuary Project identified
the Lower Passaic River as a priority area
for remediation (environmental dredging)
and restoration. To date, a Project Management
Plan (PMP) has been approved for the Investigation
and FS that will investigate the Passaic
River from the Dundee Dam to the confluence
with Newark Bay and the Hackensack River.
The USACE, USEPA and NJDOT/OMR are working
together to conduct a single joint FS that
will satisfy both Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act
(CERCLA) and Water Resource Development
Act (WRDA) regulatory requirements.
The FS will identify aquatic ecosystem restoration
opportunities and alternatives to revitalize
and restore the region. In particular, the
FS will evaluate remediation and restoration
including: sediment removal, placement of
caps, sediment decontamination in-situ or
ex-situ, shoreline stabilization, and wetland
The agencies are also working with the federal and state trustees
to integrate natural resource damage assessment processes into the
FS. This multi-agency Project Management Plan
(PMP) (pdf 289k) partnership and program was first initiated
as a result of a 1999
proposal (pdf 949k) prepared by NJDOT/OMR with input from USEPA
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF files
which is available at our state
Adobe Acrobat Access page.
to date include:
Preparation of initial
restoration proposal, submitted to
USACE conducted Hudson-Raritan
Reconnaissance Study identifying Passaic
area, finalized July 2001.
Energy and Water
Development Appropriation Bill 2001
Passaic River, from Dundee Dam to Newark
Bay in the HRE
PMP for the FS initially
drafted June 2001. Final draft,
Sharing Agreement (FCSA) signed by NJDOT/OMR
and USACE, June
Memorandum of Agreement
(MOA) between USACE, USEPA
drafted October 2001.
Palmyra Cove Demonstration Project
NJDOT/OMR is working with the New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP),
the Burlington County Bridge Commission
(BCBC), Burlington County Resource Recovery
Complex, Rutgers University and Stevens
Institute of Technologies to demonstrate
beneficial use applications for dredged
material mined from Palmyra Cove Confined
Disposal Facility (CDF).
Beneficial use applications may include
daily and intermediate landfill cover, landfill
stabilization, topsoil, cement, ceramics,
lightweight aggregate, grading and fill
material, or road base and embankment material.
The successful demonstration of beneficial
use applications for dredged material may
then be applied to navigational dredging
programs in the New York/New Jersey Harbor
and the Delaware River.
Project goals include:
use applications and technologies for
throughout the state of New Jersey.
Provide a constant
capacity for the management of
Reduce the dependency
on other natural resources of the
state for cover
and fill material.
Allow the use of
other recyclable materials in blended
to advance other sustainable development
A report on the findings
of the geotechnical
aspects (pdf 547k) of the project as reported by the Center for Advanced
Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) can downloaded for review.
NJ Toxics Workplan
NJDOT/OMR, in conjunction with the NJ Department
of Environmental Protection, has embarked
on a comprehensive monitoring program to
evaluate and track down sources of toxins
in the NY/NJ Harbor.
State of the art sampling apparatus is being
used to quantify ultra-low level concentrations
of contaminants of concern in surface water
and suspended sediments. Sampling of storm
water, combined sewer and sewage treatment
plant outfalls is also being performed.
Fieldwork and equipment design is being
conducted by investigators at Stevens Institute
of Technology, Rutgers, and the local field
office of the US Geological Survey. The
project is being performed under the guidance
of the Contaminant Assessment Reduction
Program (CARP) a bi-state working group
of the USEPA Harbor Estuary Program (HEP).
The data generated from this effort will
be used to support a toxics track down plan
for the New Jersey portion of the Harbor,
and will be combined with data being generated
by the New York Department of Environmental
Conservation to perform contaminant fate
and transport modeling for the entire Harbor
To date, NJDOT/OMR has committed over $9,500,000
in Joint Plan Funds to the $30,000,000 effort.
The following links are to the latest
presentations on the New Jersey Toxic
Workplan studies. Final reports on these
projects are currently being prepared
and will be available in the near future.
Final reports and updated summaries are available at the New Jersey DEP website.
NJDOT/OMR has contracted
with the nonprofit Hudson River Foundation (HRF) to oversee the
development of a state-of-the art contaminant fate and transport/hydrodynamic
and sediment transport model for the Harbor complex. Once completed,
this will be the most complex, largest model of its type ever constructed.
As the project managers, HRF developed a request for proposals and
selected HydroQual of Mahwah to build and validate the model. To
assist them with not only with selecting engineers, but also to
oversee the work products, the HRF was also tasked with the job
of selecting a Model Evaluation Group (MEG) comprised of national
experts on hydrodynamic and sediment modeling.
The MEG consists of professionals from the Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institute, University of Connecticut, University of Maryland, Harvard
University, Rochester Polytechnic Institute, Najarian Associates
NJDOT/OMR has committed $3,500,000 from the Joint Plan funds to
support this project. For more information on the CARP and
Harbor Modeling efforts, see the CARP website.