New Jersey Chapter|
Raritan Valley Group > Issues
The U.S. Army used the 3,200-acre Raritan Arsenal from 1917 to 1963 as a site for ammunition storage and renovation. Ordnance and waste materials were buried on site, as per routine disposal practices of the time.
The funds used to clean up the former Raritan Arsenal come from the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) program, established in 1986 by Congress. So far, approximately $60 million has been used at the site, according to James Moore, the project manager at the Raritan Arsenal site.
Hundreds of tons of contaminated soils and buried debris were removed from several areas at the site during 2003. The Army Corps disposed of these materials, confirmed the contamination was removed. They also removed more than two-dozen practice bombs from World War I that were found on the Middlesex County College campus, which comprises 163 acres of the former Raritan Arsenal.
The property is owned and/or used by Middlesex County College, Thomas A. Edison County Park, the U.S. General Services Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Raritan Center Industrial Park and several privately owned light industrial, warehousing and hotel operations.
Since the 2003 cleanup, volatile compounds discovered below the slabs of several buildings, including a day-care center, on the Raritan Arsenal site. Contaminated groundwater plumes underneath the buildings can cause gases to be trapped there, and possibly leak into the buildings.
Volatile vapors were found underneath four buildings on Fieldcrest Avenue and indoor air pollutants were found in just two of four buildings that were tested. The Army Corps has installed a "pilot test remedial system" to monitor the indoor air quality in the day care center, and tests of buildings atop the highly contaminated sites will continue, Moore said. He added that there was no health risk in any of the four buildings.
The Army Corps has monitored surface water over the last two years and has found no evidence that it was contaminated or that contaminants found their way to the Raritan River.