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EPA Demolishes Former Zschiegner Refining Building in Monmouth County

Release Date: 02/14/2007
Contact Information: Pat Carr, (212) 637-3652 or

(New York, N.Y.) – Now that the chemicals have been removed from the former Zschiegner Refining building and a comprehensive investigation of the site has been completed, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) worked this week to demolish it. The building, once used to recover precious metals from scrap materials, was filled with containers of dangerous chemicals when the site was originally discovered. During demolition activities, the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team assisted EPA by monitoring the air to ensure that workers and neighboring residents were protected. This spring, EPA will continue its cleanup of contamination at the site by removing approximately 19,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and wetland sediment, disposing of the material off site, backfilling with clean soil, and restoring the affected areas. The Agency will also monitor ground water to make sure no additional treatment is necessary.

“As soon as we were notified of the hazardous conditions at this site, we sent in a team to remove all of the chemicals and containers that were threatening the safety of residents,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “Now, we are taking steps to ensure there will be no lasting legacy from the sloppy practices at this facility.”

The Zschiegner Refining Company operated from 1964 to 1992 as a precious metals recovery facility. In November 1992, EPA inspected and found approximately 3,000 different chemicals (including peroxide, cyanide, caustics, and acids) stored improperly throughout the site. The Agency immediately removed approximately 2,000 gallons of acidic solutions, 1,600 gallons of basic solutions, and 1,400 small containers of hazardous substances. After a subsequent investigation, the Agency found contamination in soil, sediments, surface water, ground water, and in the building.

For more information on the Zschiegner Refining site:


Note to Editors: Please contact Pat Carr at 212-637-3652 if you are interested in obtaining access to the site for photographs.