Called the Raritan Bay Slag Site, the area consists of three different parcels suffering from lead-contaminated materials, including slag and pieces of discarded battery casings.
The slag is a byproduct of metal smelting that occurred in the area, and the battery casings came from National Lead Industries, which at one time discarded old casings from batteries containing acid and lead in the area but has refused to help with the cleanup.
At a jetty near the near Cheesequake Creek the EPA found lead levels of 198,000 per million, or 500 times the residential limit. Another area near the Laurence Harbor sea wall EPA testing found 142,000 parts per million, similar to a half-acre area near Sayreville.
In total, around 1.5 square miles of coastline will be shutdown for eventual cleanup, with temporary fencing already blocking off much of the contaminated area.
Further testing on shellfish in the Raritan Bay and on sediments further inside Cheesequake Creek are planned to determine the extent of the contamination.