Picatinny Arsenal Environmental Restoration Advisory Board

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Picatinny Arsenal Environmental Restoration Advisory Board

This is the official web site of the Picatinny Arsenal Environmental Restoration Advisory Board ( PAERAB ).


The PAERAB was officially formed in 1996 with its founding charter having been finally approved and signed by its founding members on August 15, 1996. It is the official successor organization to the Technical Review Committee ( TRC ) of Picatinny Arsenal which had previously overseen the environmental remediation effort at Picatinny Arsenal during the years from 1989 until 1995.

Purpose of the PAERAB

The PAERAB is a federally authorized ( 32 CFR Part 202, Section 2705 of Title 10 US Code ) technical review / liaison interagency board charged by congressional mandate with the oversight of the environmental restoration effort at the U.S. Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center that is located in Morris County, New Jersey. The PAERAB is a deliberative technical body that also serves a public liaison capacity by including among its members an official representative of each of the communities immediately adjacent to Picatinny Arsenal.

County and Municipal Governments Officially Represented

  • Denville Township
  • Dover
  • Jefferson Township
  • Morris County
  • Rockaway Township
  • Wharton Borough

In addition, to the several municipalities located adjacent to Picatinny Arsenal a not inconsiderable amount of individuals reside at and/or are employed on the physical premises of the arsenal. Accordingly, the following groups are also officially represented on the PAERAB :

Community Groups Officially Represented

  • Residents of Picatinny Arsenal
  • Employees at Picatinny Arsenal

Relevance to Picatinny Arsenal's Mission

To the extent that the PAERAB assists the cleanup effort at Picatinny Arsenal it also indirectly serves to facilitate the arsenal's accomplishment of its own mission. For the presence of environmental contaminants at any military facility tends to constitute a potential obstruction of that facility's ability to achieve its assigned national security objectives since those contaminants tend to complicate and hinder the following ongoing efforts at that facility :

  • Efficient exploitation of its terrain.
  • Proper maintainance of its physical infrastructure.
  • Thorough modernization of its physical infrastructure.
  • Augmentation of its infrastructure.
  • Assuring the health, safety and welfare of facility personnel.
  • Assuring the health, safety and welfare of facility residents.


To fulfill its mission of assisting the environmental remediation effort at Picatinny Arsenal both the PAERAB and its precursor organization, the Technical Review Committee (TRC), had consistently endeavored throughout the years to include in their deliberations and in their memberships diverse technically qualified individuals who are capable of both representing Picatinny Arsenal’s neighboring communities and also of assisting its extensive cleanup effort.

Expertise of Community Members

Specifically, the PAERAB seeks to enlist individuals who can contribute expertise derived from the practical application and/or study of any combination of the following knowledge and skill sets:

  • Biology / Zoology
  • Chemistry / Chemical Engineering
  • Environmental Preservation
  • Environmental Remediation
  • Geology / Mineralogy ( Including knowledge of radioisotopes and naturally occurring radioactive substances such as those present in the soil that contribute to local “background radiation”.)
  • Health
  • Hydrology
  • Land Use and Urban Management / Planning
  • Munitions Manufacturing, Stabilization, Storage and/or Use (Preferably of munitions researched, tested, manufactured, utilized and/or stored at this Arsenal.)

Many, if not all, of the community members of the PAERAB have served and/or are currently serving on diverse boards, commissions, committees, or departments whose purview is the environmental protection, environmental remediation, health safeguarding and/or urban development of a municipality, county, state or region. Community members of the PAERAB have been associated with such sundry and diverse environmental activist organizations as the Upper Rockaway River Watershed Association, the Highlands Coalition, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions and various local municipal environmental commissions such as those of Jefferson Township and Rockaway Township.

Academic Institutions

In order to serve the environmental remediation effort at Picatinny Arsenal more effectively both the PAERAB and its precursor organization, the TRC, had deliberately sought to include such nearby eminent academic institutions as the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Rutgers University, and Stevens Institute of Technology precisely because of the presence of recycling, environmental contamination and/or remediation research programs at those institutions. Accordingly, NJIT which has an established facility and programs devoted to matters of environmental contamination and remediation is currently officially represented on the PAERAB and it is hoped that additional representatives from similarly qualified institutions will also be included in the future.


The principal environmental restoration partners are all represented on the PAERAB: the US Army, the NJDEP, the USEPA. All of the restoration partners are accorded the opportunity to have their representatives to the PAERAB present their respective viewpoints and perspectives during public PAERAB meetings with substantiating data, expert testimony and/or analyses.

The U.S. Army’s representative serves as one of the PAERAB’s two co-chairpersons. A community member is selected from among the community members to serve as the other co-chairperson. The community co-chairperson shall be responsible for presiding at each meeting. Should the community co-chairperson be unavailable then the U.S. Army's co-chairperson shall preside. Both of the co-chairpersons shall be responsible for coordinating each meeting's agenda.

In accordance with the founding charter of the PAERAB, each of the above specified officially represented communities is entitled to select one individual to represent that community as a serving member of the PAERAB. One membership is also reserved for a representative of the residents at Picatinny Arsenal. Two memberships are reserved for representatives of the arsenal's employees: this is inclusive of both retired and current employees. Two board memberships are specifically reserved for members of local environmental groups and one membership is reserved for a representative of NJIT. Additional memberships may be accorded to individuals with an interest in the environmental remediation of Picatinny Arsenal. Such members shall serve as community representatives.

Members of the PAERAB must be willing to communicate with local community members and interest groups concerning specific cleanup issues and they must also be willing to bring local concerns to the attention of the whole PAERAB. Accordingly, members are expected to serve as a direct and reliable conduit for communication between the public and those government agenices responsible for cleanup activities at Picatinny Arsenal.

All meetings of the PAERAB shall be open to the public. Attendance by members of the public is welcome. Public board meetings are advertised in the local media and on this website. With the possible exception of PAERAB meetings conducted at the arsenal itself, our public meetings are conducted at wheelchair accessible locations easily accessed by the public. Limited site tours of various locations of environmental interest at Picatinny Arsenal are periodically conducted for the edification of board members and other interested individuals. Such site tours may be combined with a PAERAB meeting at the arsenal to be conducted either before the tour or immediately afterwards. Attendance of board meetings conducted at Picatinny Arsenal where security restrictions may apply typically requires that visitors must first submit to arsenal authorities prior notice of their intent to attend including their identity particulars. To actually attend such a meeting it may be required that proof of identity be first submitted to arsenal security personnel for verification. For specific information regarding attendance of a PAERAB meeting and/or site tour at Picatinny Arsenal please consult arsenal authorities.

PAERAB meetings shall be conducted in conformance with Robert's Rules of Order. Each meeting shall proceed in accordance with an agenda determined by both co-chairpersons. The agenda of a meeting must be submitted to board members prior to that meeting. Individuals observing PAERAB meetings may ask questions related to the specific agenda item being discussed. Questions and/or comments regarding other topics shall be reserved until that portion of the meeting deemed to be for Open Discussion.

General business conducted during a meeting that warrants the casting of votes shall be determined by a simple majority vote. Dissenting opinions shall be recorded in the meeting minutes.

The PAERAB's charter may be amended with a 2/3 vote of the assembled board members during a meeting. All prospective amendments must be specified in writing. Prospective amendments must be announced in the meeting agenda at least one meeting prior to the actual meeting scheduled for its consideration and vote.


CFR Part 202, Section 2705 of Title 10 US Code

Aerial Image of Picatinny Arsenal

Aerial map images ( 3/11/91 ) of Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County, New Jersey - Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey and TerraServer USA


Picatinny Arsenal is situated in a densely populated area of northern New Jersey less than 40 miles from New York city which has a population center of over eight million. The arsenal is situated entirely in the County of Morris which, as of the 2000 Census, was one of the ten wealthiest counties in the United States possessing a population of more than 470,000 and a population density of approximately 1,003 persons per square mile. The immediate areas around this weapons research and former munitions production facility are used for business, industrial, retail, residential, and also recreational purposes. Two of the communities immediately adjacent to the base have a diverse population: Dover, Wharton. Dover is the second most populous municipality in Morris County


Map Depicting Picatinny Arsenal in Northwest NJ

Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey - Courtesy of the U.S. Army's Picatinny Arsenal Installation Restoration Program and Shaw Environmental, Inc.


Picatinny Arsenal comprises approximately 6,491 acres and it constitutes the largest industrial land parcel in Morris County. It is also one of the Army’s larger installations in terms of both areal extent and facilities. The arsenal was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in March of 1990. Subsequent environmental investigations related to mandatory compliance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Cleanup Liability Act (CERCLA) have resulted in the collection and analysis of numerous air, soil, sediment, water, and tissue environmental samples. Between 1993 and 2009 investigations related to CERCLA compliance had resulted in the collection of more than 12,000 environmental samples.


Flow chart depicting the Principal Steps of the Superfund Process as applicable to the U.S. Army

Page 3 of Fact Sheet No.1 (December 1994) depicts the principal steps of the Superfund Process applicable to Picatinny Arsenal - Courtesy of the U.S. Army's Picatinny Arsenal Installation Restoration Program


The Defense Site Environmental Restoration Tracking System (DSERTS) had enumerated approximately 176 sites of environmental concern at Picatinny Arsenal. Within many of these individual sites there are multiple areas of concern and a variety of contaminants. Diverse types of remedies have been considered for individual sites ranging from simple institutional controls to highly complex solutions involving the application of innovative environmental remediation technology : molasses injection, permanganate injection, propane injection, phyto-remediation, pump and treat with ground injection, and the use of nano-iron in a permeable reactive barrier.


Picatinny Arsenal Site-Wide Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Map

Page 4 of Fact Sheet No.1 (December 1994) depicts specific areas of Picatinny Arsenal's Site-Wide Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study - Courtesy of the U.S. Army's Picatinny Arsenal Installation Restoration Program


A repository of documents concerning the environmental remediation effort at Picatinny Arsenal is maintained at the arsenal. To arrange limited access to cleanup documents and final reports in the Administrative Record please contact the Environmental Affairs Office (Building 319) at Picatinny Arsenal to schedule an appointment to review said documents. Many documents are also available for public viewing on this website and at the following physical locations where document repositories of select Proposed Plans, Records of Decision, Meeting Minutes and TAPP Newsletters are maintained :


The PAERAB extends its sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the personnel of the aforementioned libraries for their labor in assuring the public access to this information and above all, for allocating some of their limited shelf storage space for the display of these documents.