New Jersey Water Science Center
Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J.
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Phase II Trackdown of PCBs and PCDD/Fs in the Elizabeth River, New Jersey
Project Title: Phase II Trackdown of PCBs and PCDD/Fs in the Elizabeth River, New Jersey
Statement of Problem
Data collected during Phase I of the NJ Toxics Reduction Workplan for NY-NJ Harbor (NJTRWP) at the Elizabeth River head-of-tide sampling site (and in the downstream tidal Elizabeth River) show elevated levels for contaminants compared to other locations in the harbor. An additional NJTRWP Phase II study was conducted in July/August 2003 in an effort to determine if either of the two minor tributaries to the Elizabeth River above the head-of-tide was the major source of these contaminants. During dry weather/low river flow conditions, the concentrations and loads of total PCBs and total PCDD/Fs (including total TEQ) in suspended sediment originating in the West Branch tributary were considerably larger than those from the Main Branch. Based on this limited NJTRWP Phase II study, it was preliminarily concluded that the West Branch of the Elizabeth River contributes the largest proportion of suspended-sediment bound PCBs and PCDD/Fs (and TEQ) to the river at its head-of-tide. In addition, the data suggest that there may be additional sources of PCDD/Fs (as well as Hg and Pb) between the confluence of these two tributaries and the head-of-tide.
Strategy and Approach