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EPA Selects Cleanup Plan for Above-Ground Structures at Superfund Site on Horseshoe Road in Sayreville, New Jersey

Release Date: 10/03/2000
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(#00178A) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected a cleanup plan to demolish chemically-contaminated debris structures located above ground at the17-acre Horseshoe Road Complex federal Superfund site in Sayreville and remove the debris from the site for disposal. The goal of the cleanup plan is to eliminate the movement of contaminants in the buildings and structures via windblown dust and surface runoff and prevent human exposure to the hazards. EPA and the state have already removed a large amount of hazardous materials at the site in a series of short-term actions that began in the mid-1980s.

EPA’s plan includes the same type of cleanup at the adjoining Atlantic Resources Corporation facility. While this facility is not part of the Superfund site, it is another source of contamination in the area that will be addressed by the plan. EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox said, " EPA is expediting the cleanup, and will get it started this fall. This cleanup will set the stage for additional work to address the extensive soil contamination on the property."

The federal Superfund site is a group of abandoned, chemically-contaminated properties along the Raritan River that were used until the early 1980s for disposal and manufacturing purposes. In May 1999, EPA released a remedial investigation report that showed volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-VOCs, base-neutral compounds, arsenic and other heavy metals, pesticides, dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are present at the site. The sediments, surface water and wetlands on the site are contaminated with semi-VOCs, heavy metals and pesticides. There are additional wetlands near but not on the property that may also be impacted by site contaminants.

EPA’s plan calls for the demolition of buildings and structures, the removal of surface debris, recycling of metal, concrete and brick, and the off-site disposal of the demolition debris. Concrete slabs on the site will also be decontaminated. It is expected to cost about $1.4 million ($864,000 for the Atlantic Resources area and $522,000 for the Atlantic Development area). The cleanup will take approximately 13 months to complete. EPA plans to address soils, groundwater and sediments in the marsh and river in future cleanup actions at the Horseshoe Road Complex federal Superfund site. The agency is currently investigating the Raritan River and nearby wetlands to pinpoint the extent and nature of any site-related contamination.

Past cleanup work has been conducted at the site using federal and state funds. In a series of cleanups since 1985, EPA and the state have removed more than 3,000 drums (found buried and on the surface) and cleaned up dioxin and mercury spills. Materials found in numerous tanks and vats, as well as excavated contaminated soils and debris were also removed from the site. A settlement to reimburse EPA for a portion of the cleanup costs was reached with some of the parties responsible for the contamination. However, the responsible parties have declined to perform any of the work to date.

Site Description

The Horseshoe Road Complex site includes three areas: (1) the Horseshoe Road Drum Dump; (2) the former Atlantic Development Facility; and (3) the Sayreville Pesticide Dump. In September 1995, these three areas were grouped together as one site on the National Priorities List (NPL) based on their close proximity and the assumption that the contaminants are commingled and threaten the same resources. The Atlantic Resources Corporation site is adjacent to the area designated a NPL site.

The area around the Horseshoe Road Complex includes a residential community (about mile from the site), as well as commercial and industrial areas. The site first came to EPA’s attention in 1981, when a brush fire at the Horseshoe Road Dump Area exposed approximately 70 partially-filled drums containing acetonitrile, silver cyanide and ethyl acetate. The Horseshoe Dump Area was used for the disposal of wastes from recycling operations from 1972 into the early 1980s. The Sayreville Pesticide Dump Area was also used for the disposal of refuse from commercial product manufacturing from about 1957 into the early 1980s.

The Atlantic Development Facility operated until the early 1980s. The operations included the production of roofing materials (coal tar and asbestos), sealants, polymers, urethane and epoxy resins, resin pigments, wetting agents, pesticide intermediates and recycled chlorinated solvents. The Atlantic Resources Facility was a precious metals recovery operation. Gold and silver were recovered from fly ash, x-ray and photographic film, circuit boards, building material and other materials.