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Imperial Oil Company, Inc./Champion Chemicals
Morganville, NJ

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Involvement Coordinator

Pat Seppi (212) 637-3679
seppi.pat@epa.gov

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Five-Year Review [PDF 209 KB, 1 pp]

EPA added the Imperial Oil Company, Inc./Champion Chemicals site in Morganville, New Jersey to the Superfund National Priorities List on September 1, 1983 because hazardous chemicals were found in site soils and underlying ground water.  The 15 acre site located in Monmouth County contained a facility that operated an oil reclamation process.  Prior to Imperial Oil, other companies operated at the site, including a chemical processing plant which produced arsenical pesticides, followed by a manufacturer of flavors and essences.  The site contains a contaminated pond and a stream to the north, Birch Swamp Brook, that flows through a bog northwest of the site and then drains into Lake Lefferts, located approximately 1.25 miles north of the site.  Wetlands and wooded areas are also within the vicinity of the site.

The ground water is contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, PCBs, arsenic and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are contaminants that evaporate easily into the air.  Furthermore, a layer of concentrated oily liquid (called LNAPL for light non-aqueous phase liquid) is present on top of the groundwater underneath the former waste pile area and the northern corner of the subject property.  Soil contamination consists of elevated levels of VOCs, semi-volatile organic compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, PCBs, pesticides and the metals arsenic and lead.  The surrounding wetlands are also affected.

EPA’s immediate actions began in 1991 with the excavation of 660 cubic yards of a waste filter clay pile contaminated with PCBs, arsenic, lead and petroleum hydrocarbons.  Also in 1991, EPA began operation of an oil/water treatment system to remove the oily layer (LNAPL) from the surface of the ground water beneath the site.  EPA also excavated and removed several buried drums that were discovered during the installation of the water treatment system.  In 2002, a 625 square foot area of soil on the perimeter of the site that contained a tar-like substance was removed.

Efforts were taken to cleanup off-site areas as well.  In 1998, EPA excavated and disposed of 6,488 cubic yards of contaminated soils from nearby residential properties. During 2004, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection removed and disposed of 14,899 cubic yards of contaminated soil and sediment from the Birch Swamp Brook.  Contaminated soils from wetlands just north of the site were also excavated and disposed of off-site.  

In December 2007, remedial funding was authorized for the removal and disposal of product, feedstock and waste materials, and associated tanks, pipelines, drums and containers.  In January 2008, these activities were expanded to include the demolition and off-site disposal of buildings and structures which remain at the site.

EPA will be collecting a round of groundwater samples from monitoring wells and piezometers in and around the site in December 2008.  The operation of the surface run-off treatment system and the floating product collection system will continue on a regular basis.  Site maintenance and security will be performed routinely.


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