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EPA Acts To Protect Public Health Through Superfund At Abandoned Site in Trenton, New Jersey

Release Date: 09/12/1997
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(#97116) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a $400,000 Superfund removal action this week at the abandoned Champale Manufacturing site at 1030 Lamberton Street in Trenton, New Jersey.

The last of 13,000 gallons of corrosive chemical liquids at the former malt liquor and soft drink bottling facility were neutralized and safely discharged into the city's wastewater treatment system on Wednesday. The project, which began this May through the federal Superfund program, eliminated a potentially acute threat to public health and safety.

Trenton is looking into the redevelopment of the Champale site and is using a Brownfields grant for a multi-level assessment of the property, which includes a number of buildings on half a city block in a mixed industrial/residential community. Brownfields is an EPA program to revitalize abandoned or inactive industrial properties. The city intends to remove asbestos and non-hazardous debris from the buildings, and, ultimately demolish all of the buildings at the site.

"These actions will allow Trenton to put this valuable waterfront property to a much better use and one that will benefit the community," said EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox, who joined the Mayor, State and local officials in a visit to the site on Lamberton Street today.

"We worked very closely and effectively with Mayor Doug Palmer's office and city police, fire and public works departments throughout the course of the Champale action. Residents and nearby businesses were cooperative and showed a lot of patience. The cleanup went smoothly, even though it involved some challenging technical problems, including the safe removal of trapped ammonia and flammable oil from inside the refrigeration system. That aspect of the action alone took two weeks to accomplish.

"We applaud the city's goal of redeveloping the site and our cleanup certainly provides a running start in dealing with any environmental problems associated with it," Ms. Fox added.

In March, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) asked EPA to assess the Champale site for a possible Superfund action because of the numerous hazardous materials improperly stored inside and outside the detoriated buildings on the nearly 2-acre property. EPA found an estimated 200 containers of various sizes abandoned on the site with mainly corrosive and flammable materials stored in them. Labels on drums revealed the presence of hazardous substances such as sulfuric acid, ammonium hydroxide, pentachlorophenol and naphthalene. The site was unsecured and there was evidence of vandalism and unauthorized public entry.

In May, EPA began providing 24-hour security at the Champale site and stabilizing efforts which included placing leaking barrels and containers in new drums. EPA conducted a thorough characterization of the chemical hazards at the site through sampling and analysis before completing arrangements for transport and the proper off-site disposal of the material.

The Champale cleanup on Lamberton Street is the latest in a number of successful federal Superfund removal actions in Trenton. In the last few years, EPA has cleaned up the Kramer site on North Olden Avenue in 1996; the Champale Laboratory on Centre Street and the Blakely Laundry on Montgomery Street in 1992 and Titan Lighting in 1991. This last action involved the safe removal of two trailers dumped on at Titan Lighting at 224 Lawlor Street that contained leaking drums filled with incompatable acids and flammable liquids.

For more information contact:

Rich Cahill, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3666 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: