Former Morgan Depot

Sayreville, NJ

FUDS Property No C02NJ0007

Point of Contact

For questions on this project, please send an email to the project manager as shown below.

Gina Kaso, Project Manager
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District
696 Virginia Road, Attn: CENAE-PPE
Concord, MA 01742-2718


Site Location

The Former Morgan Depot (FMD) formerly used defense site (FUDS) is comprised of approximately 3,156 acres of land covering areas in the Borough of Sayreville, the City of South Amboy, and the Township of Old Bridge in Middlesex County, New Jersey.

Site History

The FMD site was part of an artillery shell loading plant constructed and operated by the T.A. Gillespie Loading Company as an agent appointed by the United States in December of 1917. By the spring of 1918, construction of the first production unit was completed, and operations commenced on an experimental basis. Production scale loading operations began in June of 1918. The plant was producing several types of ammunition, including 75-millimeter (mm) shells, 155-mm shells, 240-mm trench mortars, 8-inch shells, and 9.2-inch shells. These items were being loaded with various ratios of amatol, a trinitrotoluene (TNT)-based explosive. In addition, 3-inch stokes trench mortars loaded with nitro starch powder were produced at the plant. By September 30, 1918, seven of 13 proposed production lines were operational. However, on October 4, 1918, a series of severe explosions occurred at the facility which destroyed several production lines and completely halted operations. The plant, which was a major supplier to the war effort, was intended to be rebuilt. A salvage contractor was hired and clean-up efforts were initiated almost immediately. The area of the plant was almost ready for reconstruction when the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. Beginning in 1919, shortly after the Armistice, much of the area of the plant was utilized by the Morgan General Ordnance Depot. The facility remained in government hands until 1924, when approximately 1530 acres were conveyed, in fee, to J.I Eisner and S. Alpert. Later that same year Alpert & Eisner conveyed the same parcel to Morgan Development, a subsidiary of the grantor. The site then became an ordnance storage depot for munitions from US Government agencies & for munitions intended for foreign Governments. Morgan shipped these munitions through the South Amboy Docks. Beginning in the late 1940's & ending in the early 1950's Morgan sold off the land to developers and municipalities.

Evidence from previous investigations and removal actions suggest that Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC), Munition Debris (MD), and Munition Constituents (MC) may be present at FMD, Munition Response Site (MRS), due to accidental explosions and fires that occurred at the site over three days in 1918, resulting in almost complete destruction of the FMD. During previous investigations and removal actions, teams have uncovered a significant amount of Discarded Military Munitions (DMM) and MD; however, the extent of MEC throughout MRS has not been fully defined. No MC sampling has been conducted at the site but given the volume of explosives and munitions destroyed at the site, there is a potential for MC releases that are still present at the site over 100 years later. In addition, significant development at the site may have resulted in movement of MEC and/or MC contamination.

This project falls under the Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) of the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP). The Department of Defense (DoD) established the MMRP to address MEC and MC in high enough concentrations to pose an explosive threat that are located on certain properties, including FUDS. Under the DERP, the U.S. Army is the DoD’s lead Agency for FUDS, and USACE executes FUDS for the Army.

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