A larger waterfront park, complete with an urban beach, a barge pool and a boardwalk may be in the future for Carteret.
The borough’s Waterfront Park, located on the Arthur kill along the eastern portion of the borough, has about 800 feet of waterfront, but that number could nearly triple after completion of a long-awaited remediation project on an adjacent property.
Mayor Daniel Reiman and Councilman Jorge Diaz announced last month that E.I. Dupont company has begun the remediation of its property after receiving final approvals from the Borough, County and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).
The site, a 33-acre parcel with 1500 feet of waterfront and overlooking the channel, has sat abandoned for close to 60 years, leaving a large portion of waterfront unutilized and inaccessible to the public. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (“Dupont”) acquired Agrico chemical company which was located on the site in the 1920s.
The property is contaminated with metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in higher concentrations than allowed by law. In 2008, the site was designated a Brownfields Development Area by the NJDEP due to its onsite soil and debris.
In 2010, the Borough filed suit against Dupont compelling the chemical company to remediate its site. It also filed a natural resources damage suit. Dupont settled the suit in 2010, agreeing to remediate the contaminated soil by stabilizing it, grading rock over the soil and covering with clean fill. They were also required to provide a conservation easement along the waterfront for the future walkway/boardwalk.
“Dupont has recently initiated an active remediation program beginning with the crushing and grading of debris and stones to be used as part of an on-site cap,” the mayor said in a press release. “We are finally making progress on utilizing Dupont’s waterfront parcel to its fullest potential.”
The cap will vary from two to eight feet thick and a stone revetment will prevent erosion of the capped material. Various dust suppression methods will be used to prevent contaminates from posing health hazards to workers or drifting to neighboring sites.
Dupont will donate 10 acres of waterfront property to the Borough for use for the ferry terminal, parking lot, public space and boardwalk. Future use of the balance of the site has yet to be determined by the company and the borough.
Reiman believes the land can potentially transform Carteret into a waterfront destination by creating opportunities for public and private redevelopment. “The long term plan is expand our waterfront park and add to our portfolio of recreation activities with an urban beach, a barge pool and a boardwalk. We could also solicit private businesses to open waterfront lounges and restaurants.”
Remediation on the site, which started this month, is expected to take approximately 18 months with working being done 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday.