FAQs

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Yes. Currently more than 5,000 tons of radioactive material has been transferred to appropriate containers and placed into on-site storage until it is removed via rail. The slag (rock like) material is also being crushed into a smaller size, permitting more volume to be removed from the site at any one time. Removal of the material from the site for disposal is expected to begin in May 2019.

Raw materials used at the facility included naturally occurring ores that contained oxides of columbium (niobium), vanadium, aluminum metal, titanium metal, strontium metal, zirconium metal, and fluoride (titanium and boron) salts. One of the raw materials received, used and stored at the site contained naturally occurring radioactivity and is therefore regulated by state and federal law. This material, called pyrochlore, is a concentrated columbium (niobium)-bearing ore that contains greater than 0.05% of natural uranium and thorium.

Throughout the course of the decommissioning, Shieldalloy has performed air quality testing on a regular basis, and will continue this testing until the decommissioning project is completed. Groundwater testing has and will continue to be conducted at regular intervals. In addition, SMC continues to follow all regulations set forth by state and federal authorities to ensure public health. At the current time, there are no health concerns for those living near the site.

Once the removal of contaminated material from the site begins, the material will be loaded into specially designed soft-sided, Department of Transportation-approved containers which will be loaded onto gondola rail cars within the SMC site. On a regular basis, a series of rail cars will be removed from the site for disposal of the material outside of New Jersey.

The train cars will be loaded with material during the normal workday. Our rail transportation partners will remove the loaded cars and drop empty rail cars as part of their scheduled service. Active removal of material from the site via rail is expected to begin in June 2019.

Under state and federal regulation, Shieldalloy is required to maintain the site following the completion of the decommissioning activities. These responsibilities include maintenance of the site’s fencing, landscaping, erosion control, long-term radiological monitoring, and site security. Shieldalloy is also responsible for establishing institutional controls and abiding by local, state, and federal regulation regarding future uses of the site and existing facilities. This includes the prohibition of its use for residential structures and the ongoing maintenance of all covers/caps installed as part of the decommissioning process.

Currently, SMC’s focus remains on the successful decommissioning of the Newfield site, pursuant to the plan approved by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

The facility itself is zoned for heavy industry, and by virtue of the industrial activities on the site for nearly a century, the property is no longer viable for residential use. Additionally, under federal Superfund regulations, future use of the site must remain industrial. With its historical use, the layout and infrastructure of the site is ideal for continued such use.

Once the decommissioning is completed, SMC will review all available options for the site and make an appropriate determination on future use.

In addition to the decommissioning project, additional work related to a federal Superfund project is underway on the site and in the location of the adjacent Hudson Branch. For more detail, click here.

Questions from the public or from media regarding the Newfield site and the decommissioning project can be directed to Shieldalloy by clicking here (link to online email submission form). Once received, the question or other inquiry will be routed to the appropriate person for their response.