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Enforcement

Case Summary: $194 Million Settlement for Cleanup Work at the American Cyanamid Superfund Site in New Jersey

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced a remedial action consent decree valued at nearly $194 million with Wyeth Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of the Pfizer Corporation. Wyeth Holdings will perform cleanup work at the American Cyanamid Superfund Site in Bridgewater Township, N.J. and includes work to address six disposal areas at the site, where chemicals were manufactured for nearly 100 years. In addition, the company will pay $1 million for EPA’s past costs of overseeing cleanup work at the site.

The work at this site will result in cleaning up over 108 million cubic yards of contaminated soil and groundwater above the Brunswick Aquifer, New Jersey’s second largest source for drinking water.

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Information about Wyeth Holdings LLC

Wyeth Holdings LLC, founded in 1860, is a subsidiary of Pfizer Corporation after its purchase in 2009. Pfizer, an international pharmaceutical company, is headquartered in New York City, N.Y.

Information about the American Cyanamid Superfund Site

The American Cyanamid Superfund Site, located in Bridgewater Township, NJ, is next to the Raritan River and lies above the Brunswick Aquifer, New Jersey’s second largest source for drinking water. The site has a history of industrial pollution dating back to 1915. For nearly a century, prior owners manufactured chemicals at the property, and a number of impoundments were constructed and used for waste storage and disposal throughout this time period, which eventually contaminated soil and ground water. The site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 after hazardous chemicals were found in the impoundments, soil, and ground water.

More information on the American Cyanamid Superfund Site.

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Summary of the consent decree

This agreement protects local waterways from the contaminated ground water because, under the agreement, Wyeth will continue to operate a system for collecting and treating contaminated ground water to prevent it from seeping into the nearby Raritan River, Cuckel’s Brook and Middle Brook. The agreement also take a big step toward cleanup of the entire site because the work performed includes addressing contaminated soil at six waste disposal areas. In addition, the agreement includes the closure of two hazardous waste disposal areas whose contents were previously excavated and sent off-site for proper disposal. A study to evaluate alternatives for cleaning up two additional hazardous waste disposal areas is ongoing.

The consent decree was submitted to the District Court for the District of New Jersey and is awaiting review and approval.

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Contact information

For information contact

Meredith Fishburn
Attorney-Advisor
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
202-564-4790
Fishburn.Meredith@epa.gov

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