Monday, July 23, 2012

Hearing set for third phase of NJ Superfund site cleanup

Workers at Cornell-Dubilier Superfund site in 2009/Star-Ledger photo 
A massive cleanup of a contaminated site in South Plainfield, NJ that has already cost
the EPA $133 million is about to enter a third phase. 

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to hold a public meeting at 7 p.m.,
Aug. 7,
to explain its proposed plan 
to prevent contaminated ground water at the Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Superfund site from being used as a source of drinking water. 

The meeting will be held at the South Plainfield Senior Center, 90 Maple Avenue, South Plainfield. Comments will be accepted until August 20, 2012

The EPA says that Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc. manufactured electronics parts at
the 26-acre facility from 1936 to 1962. PCBs and solvents were used in the manufacturing process and the company disposed of PCB-contaminated materials and other hazardous wastes at the facility property. 

Ground water at the site is contained within underground layers of rock and soil. Municipal water supply wells in Middlesex County draw ground water from some portions of the rock formations to the north of the site.

Contaminated ground water will not be treated  

According to an EPA news release:

    After extensive soil and ground water studies, the EPA has concluded that it is not feasible to treat the contaminated site ground water because of the complex rock formations underlying the site. The depth, nature and variety of the rock formations would present extreme technical challenges for any active treatment.

    The EPA is proposing to install additional ground water monitoring wells to monitor the ground water and to put into place restrictions that will prevent the use of untreated ground water as drinking water. In addition, the EPA’s plan calls for periodic sampling to ensure that potentially harmful vapors from the contaminated ground water do not seep into nearby buildings.

    Recent periodic indoor air testing inside nearby buildings shows that vapors are not currently getting into the structures.
Under the first phase of cleanup, which is continuing, the EPA has cleaned up nearby residential, commercial, and municipal properties.

phase two of the cleanup, the EPA cleaned up the contaminated buildings and soils at the former facility property, demolishing 18 contaminated buildings and removing 26,400 tons of building debris off-site to be disposed of properly. The EPA also excavated some 21,000 tons of contaminated debris and soil from an undeveloped area of the facility. 

For more, see the
EPA's full news release and Star-Ledger story

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