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Safety-Kleen Envirosystems Company

Other (Former) Names of Site: Balbach Smelting and Refining Corporation Works, Kolker Chemical Company, Inland Chemical Corporation, McKesson Envirosystems Company

EPA Identification Number: NJD002153922
Facility Location: 600 Doremus Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07105 Link to the site map
Facility Contact Name: Patrick Nucciarone, (732) 280-4800
EPA Contact Name: None
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Case Manager: Maurice Migliarino, (609) 633-1424, maurice.migliarino@dep.state.nj.us
Last Updated: March 2011
Environmental Indicator Status: Human Exposures Under Control [PDF 76.57 KB, 27 pp] has been verified.
Groundwater Contamination Under Control [PDF 98.78 KB, 35 pp] has been verified.

Site Description

The Safety-Kleen Envirosystems Company site is located on approximately 9.5 acres in a heavily industrialized area in Newark, New Jersey. The site is bounded on the west by Doremus Avenue and on the east by the confluence of the Passaic River and Newark Bay. Industrial facilities are located both north and south of the site.

During the 1800s, the site was part of the Balbach Smelting and Refining Corporation Works, which refined lead and copper. The refining operations ceased in 1938 and the ownership was transferred to the City of Newark. It was inactive until purchased in 1952 by the Kolker Chemical Company, which manufactured chemicals at the location, including chlorine, methylene chloride, methyl chloride, chloroform and plasticizers. In 1962, the Kolker Chemical Company merged with Vulcan Materials Company.

In 1974, Inland Chemical Corporation purchased the property, phasing out chemical manufacturing and initiating solvent recovery operations in 1975.  In 1976, the southern portion of the property was sold to Darling International for rendering of animal byproducts. Inland and McKesson Envirosystems Company merged in 1981. In October 1982, an explosion and fire destroyed much of the operations at the site and it has been inactive and vacant ever since. In 1987, Safety-Kleen Corporation acquired the stock of McKesson and renamed the company Safety-Kleen Envirosystems.

In 1982, McKesson Envirosystem Company entered into an Administrative Consent Order with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for investigation of the site. Subsequent investigations and inspections identified a number of units and areas of concern. In 1993, Safety-Kleen Envirosystems Company and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (which shipped waste to the site) entered into an Administrative Consent Order with NJDEP to conduct remedial investigations and remedial measures, if necessary.

Potential Threats and Contaminants

Due to poor manufacturing operation and maintenance practices, the site's soil and groundwater are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and volatile and semi-volatile organics, such as methylene chloride, vinyl chloride, chloroform, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, cis-1,2 dichloroethylene and xylenes.

Cleanup Approach and Progress

Several remedial measures for soils and groundwater were implemented during the 1990s and the 2000s which involved removal of drums, decommissioning of site-wide aboveground storage tanks and the excavation and off-site disposal of soil containing PCBs above 50 ppm. An asphalt cap was placed over the site to prevent potential human exposure to remaining impacted soils and to minimize infiltration of surface water through the impacted areas.

Safety-Kleen had significant groundwater contamination from chlorinated VOCs that migrated to the adjacent Cardolite property and the Passaic River/Newark Bay. Oxidizing agent has been injected through two injection wells into contaminated groundwater in the shallow zone to reduce groundwater contaminant concentrations.  Recent sampling has indicated that contamination to the river has been decreasing and there is no impact to the river.   In addition, a barrier wall of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) was installed around the site in December 2003 to contain residual product in shallow groundwater beneath the site.     

The final remedies were outlined in June 2010 in a remedial action work plan (RAWP).  They consist of monitored natural attenuation to address VOC impact to groundwater that had migrated beyond the containment system to the Cardolite site located immediately north of the Safety-Kleen site.  In addition, as part of the final remedy, a groundwater Classification Exception Area (CEA) was established on October 18, 2010 for the entire Safety-Kleen site, the central and eastern portions of the Cardolite Site and the Darling Site located immediately south of the Safety-Kleen property. 

Moreover, two deed notices were recorded by the city of Newark, one in April 2005 for the Safety-Kleen site and the other in September 2010 for the Cardolite site. The deed notices with the CEA will be utilized as institutional controls to restrict the use of groundwater and soils as long as they remain contaminated.  The monitored natural attenuation and institutional controls as the final remedy was public noticed on November 9, 2010, and approved by NJDEP on December 15, 2010.  Also, groundwater monitoring will continue to verify that monitored natural attenuation processes are continuing to reduce chlorinated VOC concentrations.  

Final Cleanup Status or Projection

Site Repository

Copies of supporting technical documents and correspondence cited in the site fact sheet are available for public review at the following location:

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Solid & Hazardous Waste
Records Center
401 E. State Street, 6th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625
telephone (609) 777-3373

The inspection of some of the documents cited in the site fact sheet may require a formal request under the United States Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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