Delineation of a Potential Gaseous Elemental Mercury Emissions Source in Northeastern New Jersey: Research Project Summary



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Trenton, N.J. : New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Science


In order to assist in the identification of possible mercury (Hg) emission sources in northeastern New Jersey, this project was undertaken to delineate geographic areas in which these sources may be located. The objectives of this project were to measure gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) concentrations at a site on Staten Island, New York to the east of the putative emissions source and analyze these results with those obtained by the NJDEP at their air monitoring site (ELAB) in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Additional local measurements were to be obtained near possible emission sources. From September 30, 2011 to September 3, 2012, GEM data were collected for more than 200 days at the Staten Island site. Together with wind speed and direction data from the NOAA Bergen Point West Reach naval observatory station these measurements were analyzed and transport trajectories of GEM in the region were determined. GEM concentration and wind direction data from the ELAB site for the same period of time were also analyzed. Local measurements of GEM in the area were limited by access to appropriate sites and difficulties maintaining stable calibration of the portable Hg analyzer. Directional analysis of the number frequency and concentration-weighted distributions of GEM peaks with concentrations >4 ng m-3 at the ELAB site revealed a single source located to the south of the sampling site (bearing 173.4°). Similar analysis of GEM results for the Staten Island site revealed two possible sources, one to the west (bearing 280.5°) and a second to the southwest (bearing 213.8°). The intersections of the two Staten Island transport trajectories with the ELAM trajectory delineate two possible GEM source areas. The first is centered in Rossville, NY on Staten Island (40.5514 N, 74.1947 W) and the second near Pralls Island in the Arthur Kill along the eastern border of Linden, NJ (40.6119 N, 74.2039 W). Temporal analysis of GEM peaks for the three source directions indicates that the eastern Linden source may contribute more GEM to elevated measurements recorded in Elizabeth than the Rossville source.


Prepared by Rutgers University, College of Staten Island and Office of Science, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.


New Jersey, Air - Pollution, Mercury - Environmental aspects