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EPA Responds to Contamination at Former Michelin Powerhouse

Release Date: 08/11/2006
Contact Information: Pat Carr, (212) 637-3652 or

(New York, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overseeing work to remove asbestos from the former Michelin Powerhouse building in Milltown, New Jersey. Under EPA oversight, contractors will remove exposed asbestos insulation and materials that may have been contaminated with asbestos from the building and will also remove contaminated soil from areas of the site.

EPA will hold a public information session on Tuesday, August 15, at the Milltown Municipal Building, 39 Washington Avenue from 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM and from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM to answer questions about the cleanup.

“This building is an industrial relic from days gone by that has become a danger to the surrounding community after years of decay,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “Removing asbestos is a critical step that will allow the demolition of the building and, most importantly, allow the site to be returned to productive use.”

The Michelin Powerhouse site includes the powerhouse building, an adjacent 100,000 gallon above-ground oil storage tank, two large brick smokestacks, a steel water tower and the area between the powerhouse and the Mill Pond. Beginning in the late 1800's, the Powerhouse served as the power generating station for the surrounding industrial complex. In 1977, the industrial park was connected to the local power grid and the Powerhouse was abandoned and left to decay.

During an evaluation of the site, EPA found severely deteriorated asbestos-containing pipe and tank insulation falling from overhead tanks and piping and covering much of the floor. Samples of soil and ash were collected for analysis and indicated the presence of arsenic and lead.