EPA's Focused Feasibility Study

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a Focused Feasibility Study (FFS) and identified a preferred remedy for the lower eight miles of the Lower Passaic River. At the same time, under direction of the EPA, work on the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) on the full 17 miles of the Lower Passaic River Study Area is coming to a conclusion.

Typically, the EPA does not select a final remedy or initiate a cleanup of this scale prior to the completion of an RI/FS. That’s because the RI/FS process is mandated by federal law and all data collected during the study is used in the selection of a final remedy. Work to collect sediment, tissue and water samples in the River is still underway and is expected to be completed later this year.

EPA is advocating for what the agency is calling a "bank-to-bank" dredging operation that would remove all sediment and biota from the top two feet or more of the river bottom. This approach would not be consistent with national EPA guidance (Contaminated Sediment Remediation Guidance for Hazardous Waste Sites, 2005), which encourages adaptive management when dealing with complex river systems.



This summary graphic illustrates the overall effectiveness of the Sustainable Remedy vs. EPA's Focused Feasibility Study Alternatives