U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins radiological survey of closed areas in Great Kills Park

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Date: August 30, 2012
Contact: Kathleen Cuzzolino, 718-354-4609

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a radiological survey of closed areas in Great Kills Park, part of Gateway National Recreation Area, on Monday, August 27 through 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.

Approximately 223 acres of Great Kills Park were created by "sanitation controlled fill," or landfill. It is within these filled areas where radium contamination has been identified. In order to protect our visitors and employees from any potential health risks, areas of the park which were created by landfill were closed as a precaution. Although a portion of the park remains closed, the marina, beach front, multi-use path, education field station and Crooke's Point remain open to visitors. We look forward to seeing you out at the park.

If you have any questions or concerns contact the Great Kills Clean Up project team at e-mail us or visit our website to download a fact sheet or other key documents at www.nps.gov/gate/parkmgmt/greatkillscleanup.htm.

Investigation into the source of the radium contamination is ongoing. Based on the limited information we have at this time, it is believed that the radium came from discarded medical treatment sources.

About Gateway National Recreation Area

Established in 1972, Gateway National Recreation Area offers more than 26,000 acres of marshes, wildlife sanctuaries and recreational athletic facilities, miles of sandy beaches; indoor and outdoor classrooms; picnicking and camping areas, as well as historic structures and military installations, airfields, a lighthouse, and adjacent waters around New York harbor. The park offers urban residents in two states a wide range of recreational opportunities year round. With more than eight million visitors a year, it is one of the top five most visited national parks in the country. For information about Gateway's upcoming public programs, see the park's Web site at https://www.nps.gov/gate/index.htm.


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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