middlesex sampling plant (usdoe)


The Middlesex Sampling Plant (MSP) is situated on approximately 9.6 acres in Middlesex, Middlesex County, New Jersey. The facility was established in 1943 by the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) to sample, store, and/or ship uranium, thorium, and beryllium ores. In 1955, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), successor to the MED, terminated the operation and later used the site for storage and limited sampling of thorium residues. In 1967, the AEC activities ceased, on-site structures were decontaminated, and the site was certified for unrestricted use under applicable criteria in effect at that time. Between 1968 and 1980, the site ownership changed, first to the General Services Administration, and then to the Department of the Navy for use as a U.S. Marine Corps reserve training center. From 1976 to 1980, many radiological surveys were conducted in the Middlesex area to determine the extent of radiological contamination which may have occurred as a result of MSP activities. In 1980, custody of the MSP was given to the Department of Energy (DOE). DOE placed the site in its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). The purpose of the FUSRAP program was to cleanup contaminated sites where work was performed as part of the Nation’s early atomic energy program. Contamination was determined to be present on both the MSP and surrounding land parcels. Two of these parcels had apparently been contaminated by fill that was transported to these locations during the 1940's. The remaining contaminated parcels (adjacent to the MSP) were contaminated by wind and water erosion transporting radioactive materials. Removal actions to address this contamination were undertaken in the early 1980's. Contaminated materials were excavated from these vicinity properties (VP) and placed them into interim storage at MSP which resulted in the VP “pile” containing approximately 35,000 cubic yards. By 1981, remediation at the VPs was considered complete. The Middlesex Municipal Landfill (MML), a nearby former FUSRAP site, was established in the mid-1940's. In addition to municipal waste soils contaminated with pitchblende (high grade uranium ore) from MSP were disposed at MML. By 1974, solid waste disposal ceased at MML. In 1984, the DOE removed contaminated materials from MML and placed them into interim storage at MSP which resulted in the MML “pile” containing approximately 35,000 cubic yards. By 1986, remediation at MML was considered complete. The Energy and Water Appropriations Act of 1998 (PL 105-62) provided appropriations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to administer and execute the DOE’s FUSRAP program. Responsibility for cleanup of the MSP site transferred from DOE to the USACE in October, 1997. The east side of the facility borders fields and residential areas, and the west side borders an industrial site. The property to the south consists of marshy land and fields, and includes the drainage ditch that carries surface water runoff from the site. The main entrance to the MSP (Mountain Avenue) is to the north and adjacent to the Lehigh Valley Railroad right-of-way property. Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) through Federal actions, with EPA oversight.

Hazardous Ranking Score

50 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 2
Phone: (877) 251-4575

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

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