How It All Began

Jersey City’s proximity to one of America’s busiest ports made it an ideal location to satisfy the nation’s growing demand for chrome in the early 1900s because more than 90 percent of the world’s chromite ore reserves are located outside the United States.

From 1905 to the mid-1970s, Hudson County was home to as many as three chromite ore processing plants, including a facility at 900 Garfield Avenue in Jersey City, opened by Natural Products Refining Company in the 1920s.

PPG’s Commitment
PPG Industries, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer, purchased the Garfield Avenue plant from Natural Products in 1954. PPG operated the plant until 1963 and sold it in 1964.

Like the two other plants in Hudson County, the PPG facility extracted chrome from chromite ore, generating a residue in the process. For many years the residue from the three chromite ore processing facilities was used as fill at construction projects throughout Hudson County.

In 1990, PPG signed an administrative consent order with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection accepting responsibility for cleaning up 61 sites containing the residue, which by then had been determined to be a hazardous material.

PPG Industries cleans up all 37 residential sites within two years of signing administrative consent order with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Transforming Neighborhoods
To date, PPG has cleaned up 75 percent of the sites. One site, Lafayette Village, was recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for excellence in the redevelopment of former industrial sites.

In June 2009, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and PPG, in conjunction with Jersey City, signed an agreement for addressing the cleanup at 900 Garfield Ave., as well as the 13 other remaining sites under the 1990 administrative consent order. As a part of the 2009 agreement, PPG accepted six additional cleanup sites, which are also subject to the joint efforts of NJDEP, PPG and the city.

 

Built on several former chromite ore processing residue sites cleaned up by PPG, Lafayette Village wins an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for excellence in the redevelopment of former industrial locations.