2015 / Q4 News Briefs

Ronald J. Riccio
Former Seton Hall law school dean new Site Administrator spacer

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Dec. 30, 2015 – Superior Court has appointed Ronald J. Riccio, Dean Emeritus of the Seton Hall University School of Law, as the new Site Administrator for PPG Industries’ chromium cleanups, effective Jan. 4.

Riccio succeeds Mike McCabe, who served as Site Administrator since a June 2009 judicial consent order was entered by the court establishing a process under which the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the City of Jersey City and PPG are to address the company’s cleanup sites in Hudson County.

"I look forward to finishing the work successfully started by my predecessor,” said Riccio, a Jersey City native. “I intend to be proactive as the new Site Administrator. My goal is to ensure that the remaining work is completed expeditiously, efficiently and safely."

Since the cleanups began, PPG has excavated and hauled away more than 1 million tons of chromium-impacted soil and debris from Jersey City and Bayonne. Air quality during these excavations, meanwhile, has been within safety standards established by NJDEP. In addition, six rounds of blood samples collected from residents living near Garfield Avenue have shown no changes in chromium levels that can be attributed to the cleanups.

“Even more impressive than the vast quantities of contaminated soil and debris removed, is the fact it has been done with a continuous commitment to protecting neighboring communities from cleanup-related pollution,” McCabe said.

A founding member and former chairman of the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism, Riccio is a former member of the New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Monmouth Medical Center. He is a lifetime fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He served as Dean at Seton Hall’s Law School for 11 years beginning in 1988.

Riccio has Riccio has experience in helping to resolve high-profile matters. In 1999, he was appointed settlement master in connection with a claim by the Oneida Indian Nation to more than 270,000 acres in central New York. The Oneida claim was based on a 1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision holding state and local governments might have illegally acquired land from the Oneidas more than 200 years ago. The dispute was ultimately settled.

In 2000, Riccio was appointed settlement mediator in connection with a teachers’ strike in Middletown, N.J., in which more than 100 teachers had been jailed for disobeying a court order. Riccio brokered a settlement in the dispute over salaries and teacher contributions to health insurance premiums.

1 million tons removed, replaced with clean fill spacer

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Dec. 26, 2015 – More than 1 million tons of chromium-contaminated soil and debris have been excavated and replaced with clean fill at the Jersey City PPG Industries chromium sites identified in the 2009 Superior Court settlement among PPG, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the City of Jersey City.

The amount of material removed from sites along Garfield Avenue could fill a continuous line of rail cars stretching from Jersey City to Philadelphia.

A newsletter with more details about PPG’s progress has been mailed to property owners and tenants.

Other newsletter articles include:

  • Exposure-prevention measures have worked;
  • Next phase of work along Garfield Avenue involves addressing areas such as roads and surrounding properties; and
  • New site administrator begins work in January.