Former Maxwell House Coffee Industrial Site | Brownfields Redevelopment | Hoboken, NJ Engineers

The former Maxwell House site is located on Block 261, Lot 1, in the City of Hoboken, New Jersey. The redevelopment project has preliminary site plan and subdivision approval, which includes changes to the tax block and lot for the property. The Owner entered into an Agreement to Reimburse for Remediation Costs with the New Jersey Commerce, Economic Growth and Tourism Commission, the Department of Treasury, and the Division of Taxation, which was amended by a letter dated February 8, 2005 (Reimbursement Agreement). This project, initially valued at $500M, is one of the largest Brownfield redevelopment projects in New Jersey. The site is currently being redeveloped consistent with the Hoboken Land Use Regulations for the I-1W Zoning district (Waterfront Mixed Use).

From 1938 to 1988, General Foods Corporation used the property for processing, manufacturing, warehousing, offices and data processing. The primary processes during active operations at the facility were the roasting, grinding and packaging of coffee products under the trade name Maxwell House. MHCF operated a solvent recovery system at the site prior to 1975 to recover trichloroethene (TCE) and methylene chloride (MC) used during the decaffeination process. Decaffeination was primarily conducted within Building No. 3. Various studies were prepared to demonstrate that natural attenuation of the TCE was occupying at the site.

Numerous areas were excavated during the course of remediation at this site. These areas were excavated to comply with the Remediation Documents approved by the NJDEP, to facilitate redevelopment and/or to remediate areas that were discovered during the course of the earthwork being performed. To facilitate the sequencing of redevelopment, the entire Site was segregated into blocks (A through F).

There were 58 areas identified in the remediation documentation encompassing, 52 Hot Spots, 3 existing DER Areas, and 3 TCE areas identified in the Remediation Documents. In addition to the 58 areas, 5 previously unknown areas were identified and remediated during field activities. For the purpose of this RAR, Hot Spots are defined as areas where previous environmental samples exceeded one or more NJDEP soil clean up criteria. The TCE isopleths presented in the RAWP were used as a guide to determine the anticipated boundaries of TCE impacted soils. The soil remediation progressed in two general steps. First Hot Spots, existing DER areas and TCE impacted areas, as identified in the Remediation Documents, were excavated first. Then, mass excavation of historic fill was conducted to the water table to allow redevelopment of each block. Where Hot Spots, existing DER areas, and/or TCE impacted areas were within close proximity and/or had similar contaminants of concern (COC), the areas were combined together and treated as one excavation area. Over 70,000 tons of TCE impacted soils were remediated from the site.

The TCE groundwater plume extends to the Hudson River. The site-related contaminant loading to the Hudson River were calculated to be negligible when the concentrations of the discharging contaminants are compared to standards for a Class SE2 (saline) water body. Site groundwater has the characteristics of a Class III-B aquifer due to the high concentrations of chlorides present. Hudson River sediments along the waterfront adjacent to the site property have not been impacted by the on-site contaminants of concern. No potable water supply wells are located at or near the site. A detailed RAWP was submitted to NJDEP on March 6, 2002. In the RAWP, natural attenuation with a CEA was proposed as a remedial solution for groundwater.

In October 2005, NJDEP issued a Vapor Intrusion Guidance Document. The Vapor Intrusion Guidance provides direction in determining whether vapor intrusion of site-related contaminants is occurring and to highlight what actions might be appropriate. A vapor intrusion study was performed on the site, including groundwater sampling. Based on the NJDEP VI guidance, it was concluded that VI was mitigated by the building foundation system, vapor barriers, and engineering controls mitigation from the large air changes within the occupied space from the HVAC system.

Deed Notices were submitted and approved by NJDEP and a sitewide CEA was submitted to NJDEP. NFA Letters were received which has allowed the project owner to occupy the new residential buildings.

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