Great Kills Park Environmental Cleanup Project
Radium Found at Great Kills Park
Small sources of radium have been found in discrete areas at Great Kills Park. These radium sources, found buried more than a foot below the ground surface, have been removed. Additional areas exhibiting above-background radiation readings have been identified within the footprint of the historic landfill at Great Kills Park. A two-page fact sheet (last updated February 2014) highlights what has been found and what the park is doing and must do to make Great Kills safe once again.
The National Park Service (NPS) is the lead agency pursuing the cleanup of Great Kills Park as prescribed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This federal law is commonly called the "Superfund" law.
Great Kills Park is located on the east and south of Great Kills Harbor and on the shoreline of Lower New York Bay on Staten Island. Great Kills Park was established by the New York City Department of Parks. Primary development work was performed between 1934 and 1951. The total land area of Great Kills Park is 488 acres. Of that total, approximately 223 acres are landfill that was created by filling the area's wetlands with "sanitation controlled fill." When the U.S. Congress created Gateway National Recreation Area in 1972, Great Kills Park was transferred to the National Park Service (NPS).
The National Park Service is working with experts from the US Army Corps of Engineers and contractors to investigate and clean up radiological contamination at Great Kills Park. The area under investigation is CLOSED to ALL VISITORS. For your safety and the safety of our employees KEEP OUT of the CLOSED AREA.
The current project includes a comprehensive gamma survey of over 200 acres. The survey is approximately 80% complete. Completion of the survey has been delayed to due impacts of Hurricane Sandy. It is expected that the remainder of the gamma survey will be completed in fall of 2013 or winter of 2014. Once the survey is completed, radiation experts will remove those radioactive contaminants which present an imminent and substantial danger. The NPS will then determine what further actions are needed to ensure the park is safe for visitors.
Go to the Community Involvement page to sign up for our e-mail list to receive updates. You can learn more about the project and download copies of key documents from the Environmental Investigations page.
Did You Know?
Did you know that many celebrities visited Fort Hancock in World War II? Judy Garland performed for the soldiers at Fort Hancock in 1943. Lana Turner also visited the fort during the war. More...