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 May 2013) 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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a radiological survey of closed areas in Great Kills Park on Monday, August 27 thru Wednesday, August 29, 2012. The first area surveyed included the fishing area along Great Kills Harbor.
The National Park Service is working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their contractors to ensure the remaining areas of Great Kills Park are surveyed as soon as possible. The investigation and cleanup activities at Great Kills Park are part of a removal action performed in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Recovery Act (CERCLA). CERCLA provides for two types of removal actions, time-critical and non-time-critical. NPS is proceeding under a time-critical approach instead of the previously planned non-time critical approach. Proceeding on a time-critical approach will result in a faster cleanup because it allows NPS to simultaneously perform the investigation and cleanup as opposed to proceeding in stages.
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?
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