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Monday, July 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

N.J. Firm Pays $22M for Superfund Site Cleanup

(CN)- D.S.C. of Newark Enterprises paid the federal government $22 million to cover the cost for the cleanup of the Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Superfund site in South Plainfield, N.J.

The funds were divided between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which received $16.2 million; the state of New Jersey, which received $1.2 million; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which received $4.4 million.

Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc. manufactured electronics parts at the 26-acre site from 1936 to 1962. PCBs and solvents were used in the manufacturing process, and the company disposed of PCB-contaminated materials and other hazardous waste at the facility, the government said.

Bound Brook passes alongside the former industrial site, and was contaminated with PCBs as a result of waste disposal at the facility, including releases that continued long after its closure.

PCBs are chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing. Polychlorinated biphenyls had been widely used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications until they were banned in 1979.

Because of the nature and complexity of the contamination at the Cornell-Dubilier site, the EPA divided the cleanup into four phases.

In the first phase of cleanup, the EPA cleaned up nearby residential, commercial and municipal properties. PCB-contaminated soil was removed from 34 residential properties near the former facility property.

In the second phase, EPA cleaned up the contaminated buildings and soil on the former facility.

The third phase is ongoing and focuses on the contaminated groundwater. The EPA is monitoring the groundwater and will put in place restrictions that will prevent the use of untreated groundwater as drinking water. In addition, EPA will perform periodic sampling to confirm that potentially harmful vapors from the contaminated groundwater are not seeping into nearby buildings. EPA deferred action on an area of the groundwater that discharges to Bound Brook until the fourth phase of the long-term cleanup project.

The EPA has proposed a plan to clean up a nine mile stretch of Bound Brook as the fourth and final phase of the site. To date, the EPA's cleanup costs for this site exceed $180 million.

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