Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, March 2005


Jennifer Samson, Ph.D., 732-872-0111,

Let’s call it…“Superfund Villas”

Recently, COA sent comments on a permit application submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers to fill 0.89 acres of wetlands along Berry’s Creek in East Rutherford, NJ, in order to build a 614-unit residential apartment building.  The problem is that Berry’s Creek is an US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) designated Superfund site and a NJ National Priorities Site due to high levels of mercury, arsenic, copper, lead and PCBs.  In fact, Berry’s Creek has the dubious distinction of containing the highest concentration of mercury in freshwater sediments in the world.  In addition to obvious human health concerns, the removal of wetlands, which act as a natural buffering and filtering mechanism for contaminants, could adversely affect the creek and surrounding habitat.  USEPA is in the process of determining the best way to remediate the area.  Construction of the residential complex could negatively impact the ability to adequately clean up the creek.


COA requested the permit be denied and all construction projects be postponed until remediation of the site is complete.  The full comment letter is available by clicking here


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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