[Federal Register: January 10, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 7)]
[Page 1999]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability, Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental 

AGENCY: Fish & Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service), on behalf of the 
Department of the Interior (DOI), as a Natural Resource Trustee 
(Trustee), announces the release for public review of the Draft 
Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (RP/EA) for Operable Unit 
3 (OU-3) of the Asbestos Dump Superfund Site, Morris County, New 
Jersey. The Draft RP/EA describes the DOI's proposal to restore natural 
resources injured as a result of chemical contamination at the Asbestos 
Dump Superfund Site.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before February 26, 

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the Draft RP/EA may be made to: Clay 
Stern, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, New Jersey Field Office, 927 North 
Main Street, Pleasantville, New Jersey, 08232.
    Written comments or materials regarding the Draft RP/EA should be 
sent to the same address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Clay Stern, Environmental Contaminants 
Branch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Jersey Field Office, 927 
North Main Street, Pleasantville, New Jersey, 08232. Interested parties 
may also call 609/383-3938, x27 or send e-mail to clay_stern@fws.gov 
for further information.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the authority of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 
1980 as amended, commonly known as Superfund, (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), 
* * * ``[Trustees] may assess damages to natural resources resulting 
from a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance * * * and 
may seek to recover those damages.'' Natural resource damage 
assessments are separate from the cleanup actions undertaken at a 
hazardous waste site, and provide a process whereby the Trustees can 
determine the proper compensation to the public for injury to natural 
resources. At Operable Unit 3 of the Asbestos Dump Superfund Site in 
Morris County, New Jersey, DOI was the sole natural resources trustee 
involved in the federal government's settlement with the National 
Gypsum Corporation (NGC). The Service, acting on behalf of the DOI, 
determined that contamination at OU-3 had degrated and injured trust 
resources within the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The injuries 
resulted from the deposition of asbestos containing materials, and 
mercuric and lead based compounds at the 5.58 acre site.
    As part of a Consent Decree between the United States and NGC for 
response and restoration claims, DOI settled with NGC for natural 
resource damages. The settlement of approximately $3.6 million was 
designated for restoration, replacement, or acquisition of the 
equivalent natural resources injured by the release of contaminants at 
the site.
    The Draft RP/EA is being released in accordance with section 111(i) 
of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9611(i) and NEPA. The Draft RP/EA describes 
several natural resource restoration, acquisition, and protection 
alternatives identified by the DOI, and evaluates each of the possible 
alternatives based on all relevant considerations. The DOI's Preferred 
Alternative is to use the settlement funds in a combination of projects 
aimed to restore, enhance, and protect in perpetuity, fish and wildlife 
habitat within the Great Swamp Watershed. Details regarding the 
proposed projects are contained in the Draft RP/EA.
    Interested members of the public are invited to review and comment 
on the Draft RP/EA. Copies of the Draft RP/EA are available from the 
Service's New Jersey Field Office at 927 North Main Street, 
Pleasantville, New Jersey, 08232, or at the Great Swamp National 
Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, 152 Pleasantville, New Jersey, 08232, or 
at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, 152 Pleasant 
Plains Road, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, 07920. Additionally, the Draft 
RP/EA is available for review at the Long Hill Township Library, 91 
Central Avenue, Stirling, New Jersey, 07980, and the Harding Township 
Town Hall, located at the corners of Blue Mill Road and Sand Spring 
Road, New Vernon, New Jersey, 07976. All comments received on the Draft 
RP/EA will be considered and a response provided either through 
revision of this Draft RP/EA and incorporation into the Final 
Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment, or by letter to the 


    The primary author of this notice is Clay Stern, U.S. Fish & 
Wildlife Service, New Jersey Field Office, 927 North Main Street, 
Pleasantville, New Jersey, 08232.


    The authority for this action is the Comprehensive Environmental 
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 as amended, 
commonly known as Superfund, (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).

    Dated: January 3, 2001.
G. Adam O'Hara,
Acting Regional Director, Region 5, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-593 Filed 1-9-01; 8:45 am]