Berry’s Creek Study Area RI/FS: New Jersey


The Berry’s Creek Study Area is a 12-square-mile watershed located in the Hackensack River Meadowlands in New Jersey.  Historical industrial and urban development of the study area’s waterways and wetlands has resulted in a variety of contaminants—including chromium, mercury, and PCBs—being distributed into the system.  Our challenge was to understand the source, distribution, and risk posed by these contaminants to support cost-effective remedy development.


Our team led the remedial investigation, focusing on a strategy using multiple lines of evidence to develop a comprehensive understanding of the processes influencing chemical distribution, bioavailability, hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and risk.  We developed a state-of-the-science hydrodynamics and sediment transport numerical model to assess possible contaminant pathways within the waterway.


The robust site understanding gained by the investigation approach, along with effective regulatory negotiations and stakeholder communications, provided the foundation necessary for EPA’s recommendation for an adaptively managed remedy. We are now leading performance monitoring for the first phase of the remedial action.