Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced the successful transfer of thirty-two truckloads of mercury as part of a trial shipment from the federal facility on Route 206 in Hillsborough to Hawthorne Army Depot in Mineral County, Nevada.
"The good news today is that 32 truckloads of mercury representing nearly one-fifth of the entire stockpile has left the state of New Jersey and is safely at the Hawthorne Depot in Nevada where it belongs," Lance said. "While there is much more work to be done we stand here today confident that the process of shipping the mercury to the Nevada Army Depot safely and securely is well underway."
Lance made the announcement during a news conference with Hillsborough Mayor Frank DelCore, Assemblyman Pete Biondi and other township officials who have all been instrumental in the effort.
The 32 truckloads of mercury weighing 1,020,072 pounds represents 18 percent of the inventory at Somerville.
It was transported during the period of August 23 and September 2, 2010 by HAZMAT-certified haulers in closed tractor-trailers and tracked via Global Positioning Satellite.
For security reasons, specific shipping dates and routes were not released to the general public.
According to the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) which operates the Defense National Stockpile Center that oversees the mercury transfer, the completed trial shipment will be used to validate the operating procedures at the Army Depot as required by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP).
NDEP is currently reviewing the "trial transfer" receiving procedures to determine any changes or adjustments that may be needed prior to additional mercury transfers.
Upon successful completion of this review the remaining mercury will be scheduled for shipment to Hawthorne beginning this fall and continue to completion in early December.
Since arriving in Congress in January 2009, Lance pledged to build upon efforts of his predecessor Rep. Mike Ferguson and others to complete the safe and timely transfer of all 2,615 metric tons of mercury -- the Nation's largest stockpile of hazardous material.
Lance first toured the mercury storage site in Feb. 2009 and committed then to helping Hillsborough. Following the tour Lance has held numerous meetings in Washington with federal officials urging a safe and expedited transfer of all the mercury.
"After years of false starts, missed deadlines and delayed promises, the residents of Hillsborough are as close as ever to being free of the presence of mercury in their community. I am proud to be part of this effort," Lance concluded.