Comments from the Site Administrator for PPG’s chromium cleanups

January 24, 2019

Periodically I have found it to be helpful to remind everyone of my responsibilities as the court-appointed Site Administrator for the PPG chromium contamination sites.

The PPG cleanup activities are governed by a judicial consent order entered in 2009 by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Hudson County (the “JCO”). PPG, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) and the City of Jersey City are parties to the JCO. The Honorable Jeffrey Jablonski currently has responsibility to administer the JCO. Judge Jablonski was appointed to the Chancery Division, Hudson County, in July 2018, upon the retirement of the Honorable Barry Sarkisian.

The JCO is a public document. A copy, along with the various amendments to the JCO, can be found on this website. The JCO called for the appointment of a Site Administrator, whose responsibilities and powers include, among others: (1) establishing a “Master Schedule” for the filing and review of PPG submittals, (2) holding regular meetings with PPG, the City of Jersey City, NJDEP and the developer of the Garfield Avenue Sites to ensure that good faith efforts are being made to meet the goals established in the Master Schedule, (3) hiring experts and/or consultants to assist the Site Administrator in reviewing PPG submittals and in resolving any issues raised to the Site Administrator by the parties, (4) hiring a Technical Consultant to, among other things, advise the Site Administrator on technical issues relating to the PPG submittals, and (5) attending and participating in community or public meetings to discuss proposed remedial measures at the PPG Sites. All of these responsibilities are carried out by me and my support team on literally a daily basis.

I would like to address specifically what I have been doing to comply with item (5) listed above. Since my appointment as Site Administrator, effective Jan. 4, 2016, I have taken very seriously my responsibility to communicate with the public regarding the status of the PPG cleanup efforts. As a result, this website is updated on a routine basis. It contains an extensive amount of information about the PPG chromium sites, including the history of the sites, copies of the JCO and all amendments, maps showing the location of all of the sites, copies of key PPG submittals related to the investigation and remediation of the sites, copies of the Progress Reports to the Court, copies of the Master Schedule, information about the health and safety measures used at the sites and more. In addition to providing this website, the following are used as a means to communicate with both the Court and the public as to the status of the PPG remediation activities:

  • Progress Reports to the Court: Progress Reports are submitted to the Court twice per year to advise the Court (currently, Judge Jablonski) of the status of the remediation activities and any problems or difficulties that might be experienced. The Progress Reports are public documents and are posted to the Chromium Cleanup Partnership website.
  • Public Meetings/Presentations: At least annually, I hold some form of meeting or presentation to inform the public as to the status of the remediation activities. Last year, in January, we held a meeting at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center. This year, on April 16, 2019, I will be appearing before the Environmental Commission of Jersey City.
  • Newsletter: Published annually in January, the Chromium Cleanup Partnership Newsletter summarizes the remediation status of many sites. Copies of all newsletters since the JCO went into effect are available on this website.
  • Field Inspections: I regularly visit the sites where active work is taking place. Those field inspections may also be attended by other interested parties who, directly or indirectly, represent the interests of the public, including NJDEP, the City of Jersey City, the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency and property owners. In October 2018, Judge Jablonski attended a field inspection of all the sites.
  • Phone/Email Inquiries: The website contains a “Contacts” tab that includes contact information for people with knowledge of the status of the PPG sites, including my contact information. The public is encouraged to use the following email address and phone number to reach me with questions about the PPG sites: Email: Info@chromecleanup.com; Phone: 201-777-2099.

I hope that you find this website and the information I have provided helpful. I will continue to do my best to make sure that the remediation and restoration of the PPG Sites is done efficiently, effectively, expeditiously, transparently, and above all, safely. Having been born and raised in Jersey City, and being personally familiar with some of the neighborhoods adjacent to the PPG Sites, I have added reason to make certain that the cleanup is done right.

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RONALD J. RICCIO
Site Administrator, PPG Chromium Cleanup Sites