Wednesday, September 18, 2013

EPA extends Maywood Superfund site comment period

Originally set to expire on on September 23, the deadline for public comment on a cleanup plan for the Maywood Chemical Company Superfund site in Maywood, Lodi and Rochelle Park, NJ has been extended to October 22 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The  proposal calls for a combination of removing and treating contaminated soil. The plan was explained to the public in a meeting held by the EPA on September 9, 2013.

According to EPA background documents, the site consists of three connected areas: the Stepan property, the Sears and adjacent commercial properties, and the Maywood Interim Storage Site (MISS) owned by the federal government. The site also includes certain vicinity residential and commercial properties. It is located in a highly developed commercial and residential area that includes portions of the Borough of Maywood, Lodi, and Rochelle Park.

"From 1916 through 1955, the Maywood Chemical Company processed radioactive thorium ore. The residues or tailings from the process operation, clay-like dirt, contained significant quantities of low-level radioactive materials. In addition, other processing operations generated various types of waste products (such as lanthanum, lithium compounds, detergents, alkaloids, essential oils, and products from tea and cocoa leaves).
"Maywood Chemical pumped process wastes to diked areas west of the plant. In 1932, State Route 17 was built through the disposal area. Process wastes subsequently migrated onto adjacent properties in Rochelle Park. Some of the waste materials were excavated and used as fill dirt and mulch for nearby properties in Maywood and Lodi. Waste materials were also transported via the old Lodi Brook stream channel (later replaced by a storm water drainage system). The result was chemical and radioactive contamination over much of the local area.
"The Maywood Chemical Company was bought by the Stepan Chemical Company (later, the Stepan Company) in 1959. The Stepan Company is currently the owner/operator of a portion of the original Maywood Chemical Company property. Many of Maywood Chemical's operations were discontinued in the 1960s. The Stepan Company currently focuses on the production of specialty chemicals.
Click here to see the proposed cleanup plan   Background information on the site

Related environmental news stories:
EPA Proposes Plan to Address Contaminated Soils
Maywood Chemical Co. Superfund site to get $17 million cleanup
EPA lays out plans to clean contaminated former chemical company site

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