Welcome to the new Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association website. Check back often for regular updates on what’s happening in the PAD.
UPDATE – April 12th 2016
The property designated as Site 205 by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is located at 108 First Street in Jersey City. It is approximately 200 feet long by 60 feet wide (0.2 acres) and is owned by “A” Condominium Association, Inc. An easement was granted to the City of Jersey City for the site to be used as a park.
The park is currently closed pending improvements including concrete sidewalks, brick pavement, landscaping, and drainage for storm water. Honeywell will address chromium contamination at the site before the property is renovated.
The park property was a cigar manufacturing plant from around 1885 to the 1950s. From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, the plant was used as a warehouse. The building was demolished and the property remained vacant until a park was constructed.
After chromium was found at the site, it was assigned to Honeywell and PPG in 2011 as part of the “Orphan Site Agreement,” which allocated responsibility for the cleanup of chromium sites in Jersey City to three former producers of chromium. Honeywell will conduct the work which is limited to chromium contamination but other parties have investigated the site for a wide range of contaminants. Metal contamination was found and a soil cap was used to isolate that contamination.
2015 Soil and Groundwater Sampling In late 2015, Honeywell accelerated its NJDEP-approved schedule for the site because the park was going to be redeveloped. An extensive investigation was conducted which found that chromium above the NJDEP hexavalent chromium criterion is 3 – 9 feet below the ground surface, except for one sample, where the chromium was found in a shallower interval, between 2.5 – 3 feet.
Groundwater samples were collected from four temporary wells and while total chromium was detected, its concentration was below the NJDEP groundwater standard. (See description of hexavalent and total chromium on next page.)
Remedy The proposed remedy for the chromium area is a combination of excavation and capping. Capping is a widely accepted state remedy for chromium sites. All work will meet NJDEP requirements. Soil will be excavated to a depth of two feet in most areas, and four feet in specifically identified areas. Those areas include the shallow contamination and areas where utilities and proposed park redevelopment features will be constructed. A synthetic liner will be placed at the bottom of the excavation, and clean fill will then be placed over the liner.
Schedule A work plan will be submitted to NJDEP in May 2016. The work will start as soon possible after NJDEP approves the plan and take about two to three weeks. Honeywell will keep the City of Jersey City and “A” Condominium Association up-to-date on the progress, and will coordinate with the park developer.
What is “Chromium”? Chromium is a mineral found in rocks, animals, plants, and soil. It is also found in by-products of some types of manufacturing, such as leather tanning and chrome-ore processing. Generally, chromium exists in two major forms: trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium. Hexavalent chromium is predominantly the man-made kind and it is present in the environment at much lower levels than trivalent chromium.
How does the Exposure to Either Type of Chromium Affect My Health? Every person needs small amounts of trivalent chromium for proper health. The most common sources for this mineral are dietary supplements, the environment, and foods that contain chromium, such as American cheese, potato skins, peanuts, and oysters.
At certain levels, exposure to hexavalent chromium can affect people’s health. Most studies focus on how hexavalent chromium affects people who work with chrome or chrome by-products because these people are at a greater risk of experiencing adverse health effects. For example, studies done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services’ focus primarily on work-related exposure to hexavalent chromium.
Studies that compare the health of people who live near land that contains hexavalent chromium with people who don’t live near land that contains hexavalent chromium found no significant differences in the health of the two groups.
Does Chromium Cause Cancer? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that continuous, long-term exposure to high levels of airborne hexavalent chromium – levels that are many times higher than those allowed in the workplace by OSHA – can cause lung cancer. Exposure to trivalent chromium has not been found to cause cancer.
A report issued by Dartmouth University called “The Facts on Chromium” states that safer work practices developed in the 1960s greatly reduced the number of workers who were exposed to unsafe levels of hexavalent chromium in their jobs. Today, there is no evidence of increased cases of lung cancer in people who work with hexavalent chromium beyond what occurs in the general population.
Contact: Victoria Streitfeld, Honeywell Community Liaison, 973.455.5281
February 8, 2016
A bit of a snag in the park rebuilding time line. Paraphrasing a note from City Planning…
“Honeywell is in the process of having a remediation plan (chromium clean up) approved by DEP that mirrors the park rebuilding plan approved by community charrette and planning board.
Honeywell was very responsive to the city’s needs for expediency and agreed to move this site up on their construction list to follow the adoption of the agreement. They said their work would take a month or two and the city park reconstruction could immediately follow. They said that a spring start may be possible but would finalize the start date as soon as they receive their approval from DEP . They have been working with them closely on this and expect that to take a month from the date of submittal. (They can submit once the agreement is in place).”
There are a few other legal issues to resolve between all the parties involved that will happen while all these other issues get planned.
A couple weeks ago new signs were added to the Zone 4 Permit Parking signs along First Street between Marin Blvd and Provost Street on the south side of the block.
It is instructing people to parallel park, not at an angle as folks have done for over a decade; apparently it is illegal to park at an angle. The north side of the street has gotten a franchise from the city to have angle parking for the electric charging stations (and the electric Zip cars as well). Ten more spaces will appear as 160 First Street (The Oakman) is completed.
PDF of Letter from Traffic and Engineering: 201602091446
Traffic and Engineering has stated that the angle parking on the north side should be back-in and drive-in angle only. Shuster is supposed to repaint the lines and also repave the entire block, not just their half of the street. When this is done – the markings indicating where the parallel and angle angle parking will be painted by Shuster – all a part of the franchise agreement with the city. So far Shuster doesn’t seem to have done what traffic and engineering has asked for. MEANWHILE it will continue to be chaotic and confusing. Park at you own risk. Walk at your own risk. And always look both ways.
Please drive carefully until everyone learns the new rule.
Bay Street is now continuously one way from Greene Street traveling west to Newark.