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EPA Wins Court Challenge ;New Jersey Site to Remain on Superfund List

Release Date: 07/22/2004
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(#04117) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- In a ruling favorable to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied two separate petitions for review of the Agency's decision to place the Quanta Resources site, located in Edgewater, New Jersey, on the National Priorities List (NPL).

"We are pleased with the outcome of this case," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "The Court's decision clearly demonstrates that EPA took the appropriate steps in placing the Quanta Resources site on the Superfund list of the most hazardous waste sites."

On June 29, 2004, the District of Columbia Circuit Court rejected both challenges to EPA's decision to place the Quanta Resources site on the NPL. One group of petitioners, consisting of Honeywell International, Inc. (Honeywell) and the Edgewater Working Group, claimed that EPA's notice of the proposed listing was deficient and that the decision to list the site was unsupported by the record. The other petitioner, Three Y, LLC, owns a parcel of land that EPA considers to be part of the Superfund site. Three Y, LLC argued that EPA failed to give fair notice that the parcel would be included as part of the site when it was proposed for the NPL.

Past industrial operations at the Quanta Resources site have contaminated the property, located at 163 River Road in Edgewater. Starting in the 1930s, Allied Chemical Corporation (now Honeywell) operated a coal tar distillation plant at the industrial property. In 1974, the industrial property was used by the Quanta Resources Corporation as a waste oil reprocessing plant until it was shut down in 1981.

To address the immediate threats posed by the site, Honeywell performed a series of short-term cleanups. Subsequent sampling revealed the presence of residual contamination in the soils, ground water and sediments that pose a long term risk to human health or the environment. In January 2001, EPA proposed to add the Quanta Resources site to the NPL, and in September 2002 the listing became final.

EPA, Honeywell, and the Edgewater Working Group are currently developing a plan to perform an in- depth environmental study of the nature and extent of the contamination. This study, called a remedial investigation and feasibility study, will address both the upland portion of the site (focusing on surface and subsurface soils, ground water and coal tar) and the river portion of the site (focusing on coal tar and sediments in the Hudson River near the site). The study will also include indoor air sampling of neighboring properties.