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EPA to Clean Up Howell Superfund Site

Release Date: 10/13/2004
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(#04157) NEW YORK -- Contaminated soil, sediment and ground water at the Zschiegner Refining Company site located in Howell Township, New Jersey will be cleaned up, according to a plan announced today by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA will excavate approximately 2,900 cubic yards of soil and 4,500 cubic yards of sediment and dispose of this material off site. In addition, the Agency will monitor ground water to evaluate the need for future treatment.

"By selecting a cleanup plan for Zschiegner, we are on the way to removing the sources of contamination that threaten local wetlands and pose a long-term risk to the community," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "We are eager to begin cleaning up this site."

The Zschiegner Refining Company operated from 1964 to 1992, recovering precious metals from items such as watch bands, photographic film, and electrical components. In 1992, approximately 3,000 different chemicals including peroxides, cyanides, caustics and acids were found improperly stored at the facility. EPA subsequently segregated and removed approximately 3,600 gallons of hazardous solutions and 1,400 small containers of hazardous substances from the site.

The site was listed on the National Priorities List of the nation's most hazardous waste sites in March 1998. In September 1998, EPA began a study to evaluate the nature and extent of the contamination on the site. The results of this study showed that metals, including chromium, copper and nickel, are the primary contaminants at the site.