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American Cyanamid
Bridgewater Township, NJ

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Your EPA Community Involvement Coordinator

Melissa Dimas - 212-637-3677

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EPA added the American Cyanamid site in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey to the Superfund National Priorities List on September 8, 1983 because hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and ground water.  The 575-acre superfund site has a history of industrial pollution dating back to 1915. For nearly 100 years, prior owners used the location for manufacturing chemicals and disposed of chemical sludge and other wastes on the property. The soil, ground water and waste disposal areas, called impoundments, are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-VOCs, metals, and other harmful chemicals. Some of these harmful chemicals are known to cause cancer in humans and animals or have other adverse effects on human health. The extent and nature of potential health effects depend on many factors, including the level and length of exposure.

The site is located adjacent to the Raritan River and lies above the Brunswick Aquifer, New Jersey’s second largest source for drinking water. Area residents are serviced by a public water supply that provides a safe source of drinking water. In 1998, EPA deleted 140 acres of the site from the Superfund list and the property was redeveloped for commercial use (retail stores, a professional baseball stadium, and a commuter/stadium parking lot). All manufacturing ceased on the site in 1999 and the majority of the buildings were demolished by 2000. In 2009, Pfizer Inc. assumed responsibility for the American Cyanamid site as part of its purchase of the Wyeth Holding Corporation, a prior owner.

The 435 acre site is currently being addressed through three separate actions:

Site-wide Remedy: In September 2012, a remedy was selected for site-wide soils, groundwater, and the impoundment contents that have not yet been remediated, with the exception of impoundments 1 and 2. This remedy, referred to as the site-wide remedy, called for the treatment via in-situ solidification/stabilization and/or the installation of engineered capping systems to address three  contaminated impoundments and all site soils, as well as the collection and treatment of site-related contaminated groundwater.  The remedy also called for the completion of an ecological risk assessment to determine whether three additional impoundments would require excavation and relocation. A settlement agreement was executed in March 2013 for the remedial design of the site-wide remedy. The remedial design of the site-wide remedy is currently underway and is generally being addressed in two components: (1) impoundments and site-wide soils; and, (2) groundwater. It is currently anticipated that the design of these two remedial components will be completed in 2015.

Impoundments 1 & 2: Due to the unique and highly complex nature of the contaminants within Impoundments 1 and 2 and their proximity to the Raritan River, these two impoundments were not included in the Site-wide remedy and are being addressed separately through a focused feasibility study.  A lab treatability study was completed on the contents of these impoundments in August 2012 and, based upon the results, it was concluded that solidification/stabilization, thermal treatment, or a combination of the two technologies could potentially be implemented for these two impoundments and that a pilot test is necessary.  The construction of the pilot system was completed in Fall 2013 and implementation of the actual pilot testing begins in February 2014.

Removal Action: Pfizer observed seeps along the site banks of the Raritan River in Fall 2010, which were determined to contain up to 20,000 ppb of benzene. As an interim measure, activated carbon-filled sand bags were installed along the banks of the river in 2011 at the seep discharge points. For a long term solution, a groundwater removal system was constructed including a collection trench, a containment wall and an interim groundwater treatment system. This system was completed in May 2012 and is currently operating.

Site Repositories: EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway - 18 Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866; Bridgewater Township Library ,1 Vogt Drive, Bridgewater, New Jersey

If you have any questions please contact the Community Involvement Coordinator, Melissa Dimas at dimas.melissa@epa.gov or 212-637-3677.


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