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Keasbey Redevelopment Zone Targets Energy Center & Waterfront Park

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Mayor John E. McCormac, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), EPEC Polymers, Inc., the Brownfield Development Area Steering Committee (BDA), the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency, and the public/private environmental partnership, today announced the Phase II remediation of more than 29 acres at a former manufacturing site located on part of the 655-acre Keasbey Redevelopment Zone at the Brownfield Development Area (BDA) in Woodbridge Township – the completion of Phase II remediation clears the path to locate a future energy complex as part of the restoration and redevelopment of the BDA.

“The completion of Phase II remediation represents another milestone in the continuing efforts to clean-up and restore the entire Brownfield Development Area along the Raritan River waterfront in the Keasbey section of Woodbridge Township and clears the path for the start-up of on-site engineering and future construction of the Competitive Power Ventures natural gas-fueled electric generation facility power plant we announced last July,” said Mayor McCormac. “It is only through the combined commitment and partnership with the corporations and remediation experts located within the BDA, the stewardship of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the dedicated efforts of the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency and the BDA Steering Committee, the Edison Wetlands Association and the public/private partnership, that we are able to announce continued progress in the effort to restore the property to productive use – remediation that includes the restoration of more than 100 acres of environmental wetlands along with the carefully planned economic redevelopment along the Industrial Highway in Woodbridge.”

 

Joining Mayor McCormac to announce the progress report were Brian Kellmann, P.G., Project Manager - Environmental Remediation, EPEC Polymers; Caroline Ehrlich, Director, Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency; Anthony Findley, Brownfields Development Area Manager, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; members of the Brownfields Development Area Steering Committee, Robert Spiegel, Executive Director, Edison Wetlands Association, and members of the public/private partnership.

“EPEC Polymers continues to be a proud partner in the cleanup and revitalization of the Woodbridge Township Brownfield Development Area. Over the last several years, we have worked closely with Mayor McCormac and the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, CPV, Edison Wetlands, and numerous other stakeholders to move this project forward and to meet an extremely aggressive schedule,” said Brian Kellmann, Project Manager, EPEC Polymers. “We are here today to recognize a significant milestone for the project that includes being at a “shovels down” designation for the 29-acre CPV parcel – meaning it is now ready for redevelopment.”

EPEC Polymers, Inc. (an affiliate of El Paso Corporation acquired by Kinder Morgan, Inc. in May 2012) began on-site remediation to fully restore the former chemical manufacturing site to DEP standards suitable for industrial and business development, along with restoring wetland areas and creating a passive recreational area that will be available to the public. Restoration of the 29 acre site included construction of a 7,000-foot long hydraulic barrier wall; excavation and off-site disposal of impacted soil; construction of a soil cap over the former manufacturing areas within the barrier wall; excavation and off-site disposal of waste material; and capping and filling an impacted pond. Project details:

  • Remediation of the 29 acre parcel required nine months to complete;
  • 36,730 truckloads carrying 1,083,500 tons of fill delivered, placed and capped on-site;
  • 35,830 work hours with no accidents or injuries

In addition to completing soil remediation for the CPV redevelopment parcel, EPEC Polymers made significant progress in the restoration of over 100 acres of wetlands and tidal marshlands.

In July 2012, Competitive Power Ventures announced plans to locate and construct the Woodbridge Energy Center on 27.5 acres of the EPEC Polymers parcel at the Keasbey Redevelopment Area - the Woodbridge Energy Center represents a 700 mega-watt natural gas-fueled electric generating facility that will produce enough electricity to power 700,000 homes. The Woodbridge Energy Center is expected to employ more than 500 skilled workers during peak construction ($60 million payroll during construction) and more than 25 permanent jobs when operational ($3.5 million annual payroll). Woodbridge Township will benefit with millions of dollars in tax rateables and host fees with the commencement of construction.

In June 2012, Viridian Partners announced the completion of remediation and environmental clean-up of more than 13+ acres at the former PMC Specialties site located on part of the Keasbey Redevelopment Zone and BDA. The two-year PMC site clean-up included soil remediation, removal and recycling of concrete debris for re-use, and the application of approximately 70,000 cubic yards of processed dredge material to raise site elevation and provide a partial environmental cap. The soil remediation project restored the former PMC Specialties site to DEP standards. Today, the site is "pad ready" for use as a parking and storage area for Fed-X Ground.

In October, 2011, the Redevelopment Agency announced the start of restoration of more than 100 acres of environmental wetlands along the Raritan River and construction of the future Woodbridge Waterfront Park. The wetlands remediation project includes restoration of the natural wetland habitat, the planting of more than two million native plants which will transform the site into a diverse, functioning ecosystem of tidal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, and enhanced upland areas. Construction of the southern wetlands - the largest constructed wetland area planned for the site at approximately 24 acres – is well underway. To date approximately 60,000 plants have been installed and approximately eight acres have been graded. When complete, the southern wetland will have four unique habitat types characterized by different plant communities, with more than 80 different species of native trees, shrubs, ferns and herbaceous plant species installed by fall of this year when the southern wetland is scheduled for completion. The construction of the three-acre tidal marsh area is set to begin this fall. The tidal marsh will recreate low and high tidal salt marsh habitat once common on the lower Raritan River, providing habitat for wading shorebirds, nursery grounds for fish, and suitable substrate for shellfish beds. As restoration continues, notable wildlife sightings include bald eagles, egrets, great blue herons, Baltimore orioles, yellow warblers, killdeer, gold finches, and other song birds, turtles, and small fish. When completed, the Woodbridge Waterfront Park will include two miles of new hiking trails, boardwalks along the river and upland areas, bird blinds, scenic overlooks, ecological signage, and passive recreation areas.

In 2009, the DEP designated the Keasbey redevelopment site as a Brownfield Development Area, which allows communities to designate clusters of Brownfield sites for coordinated remediation and redevelopment. Municipalities that have been designated are eligible for grants of up to $5 million each year from the DEP's Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund for investigation and remediation. A DEP case manager assists the Township in overseeing remediation, obtaining financial assistance, and coordinating revitalization efforts with other state agencies.

 

 

 

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