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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Announces Cleanup Proposal for American Cyanamid Superfund Site in Bridgewater Township, NJ Community

05/23/2018
Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (rodriguez.elias@epa.gov)
212-637-3664

(New York, N.Y.) Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Pete Lopez was joined by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Deputy Commissioner Debbie Mans and Bridgewater Township Director of Human Services Kristen Schiro to announce the cleanup proposal for the final portion of the American Cyanamid Superfund site in Bridgewater Township, NJ. This Superfund site is on both the National Priorities List (NPL) and Administrator Pruitt’s list of Superfund sites targeted for immediate and intense attention released in December 2017.

“After three decades of studies, we are exercising leadership and taking important action by proposing to remove and treat 55,000 cubic yards of acid tars and chemicals from the floodplains of the Raritan River,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA has heard the concerns and recommendations of the communities surrounding this toxic threat, and we will move purposefully and quickly to address them.”

The $74 million cleanup proposal involves excavation and dewatering of contaminated material within two waste disposal areas (impoundments), followed by shipment out of the area to a facility, for treatment and disposal.  Soil or clay impacted by the impoundment contaminants would also be treated, using on-site stabilization or solidification. Surrounding “berm materials” that do not require treatment would be used as backfill. It is estimated that more than 44,000 tons of hazardous waste would be permanently destroyed, and approximately 2.3 million gallons of contaminated liquid would be collected and treated.

“Administrator Pruitt has restored Superfund to its rightful place as a core mission of the Agency,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez.  “This cleanup, along with the groundwater treatment plant that is currently under construction, will result in positive outcomes for the people of Bridgewater and will help keep harmful contaminants like benzene from reaching the Raritan River or migrating to other off-site areas.”

“Working with the staff at EPA Region 2 is critical for addressing New Jersey’s Superfund sites,” said NJDEP Deputy Commissioner Debbie Mans. “The American Cyanamid site has been contaminated for far too long, impacting the environment and the residents of this area. The cleanup proposal that EPA is announcing today is a step in the right direction and targets the only remaining portion of this site which does not have a cleanup plan.”

“The health and safety of our residents is our primary concern and we support the efforts to address this superfund cleanup under the watchful guidance of the EPA,” said Mayor Daniel J. Hayes Jr. “The EPA and Pfizer have conducted thorough research to come up with a method that will treat the most difficult impound areas in a safe and efficient manner. We greatly appreciate their diligence and emphasis on safety.”

The EPA will hold a public meeting on June 12, 2018 to explain the cleanup proposal and other options considered and to take public comments. An informal public information session will be held at 6:00 p.m. and the public meeting will begin at 7:00pm at Bridgewater Township Municipal Building, 100 Commons Way, Bridgewater, N.J.

Comments will be accepted until June 28, 2018.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:

Mark Austin, Remedial Project Manager

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007

Email: austin.mark@epa.gov

  

American Cyanamid Superfund Site, including Impoundments 1 and 2.

Background

The American Cyanamid Superfund Site has a history of industrial pollution dating back to 1915. For nearly 100 years, prior owners used the location for manufacturing chemicals. A number of impoundments were constructed and used for waste storage and disposal throughout this period of time, which eventually resulted in the contamination of soil and groundwater with chemicals and heavy metals. The site was placed on the federal Superfund list in 1983.

In 1999, EPA removed a portion of the Superfund site from the NPL, freeing it up for redevelopment and reuse.  In 2012, the EPA selected a cleanup plan to address contaminated soil, groundwater and six waste disposal areas (called impoundments 3, 4, 5, 13, 17 and 24) at the site. That phase of cleanup, which is currently ongoing and being performed by Wyeth Holdings LLC, involves collecting and treating groundwater contaminated primarily with benzene. The groundwater pump and treat system prevents contaminated water from seeping into the nearby Raritan River, Cuckels Brook and Middle Brook.

To view the EPA’s cleanup plan and site history, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/american-cyanamid.

Follow EPA Region2 on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.

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Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 Administrator Scott Pruitt established a task force to restore EPA's Superfund program to its rightful place   at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment. Click here to learn more.