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EPA Takes Industrial Latex Site Off the National Priorities List

Release Date: 05/01/2003
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(#03050) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that health and environmental threats at the Industrial Latex Corporation site in Wallington, New Jersey, have been addressed, and the site has been removed from the National Priorities List (NPL) of the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites.

“EPA removed contaminated buildings, nearly a hundred thousand tons of soil, and disposed of or recycled tens of thousands of gallons of liquid and solid wastes from this site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. “The chemicals at the Industrial Latex site were extremely dangerous, but they are gone and area residents can feel safe now that the site is all cleaned up.”

The Industrial Latex Corporation manufactured chemical adhesives, and natural and synthetic rubber compounds from 1951 until 1983. Poor operational and waste disposal practices left the site badly contaminated with solvents and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Industrial Latex went out of business in the early 1980s, leaving no one to clean up the site.

EPA came onto the scene in 1986, immediately working to stabilize the site by removing explosive and flammable chemicals, as well as nonhazardous combustible trash. During these initial actions, the Agency treated or recycled more than 130,000 gallons of contaminated liquids, and removed over 1,200 drums, 22 underground storage tanks and 37 truckloads of trash.

EPA began a full investigation in 1989, and found that site soil was extremely contaminated, primarily with PCBs. Additionally, buried contaminated materials such as vats and drums were found. Cleanup was conducted in two phases, with Phase 1 completed in 1995 and Phase 2 in 2000. During Phase 1, several vats and buildings were demolished and removed from the site. While conducting Phase 2, the soil cleanup portion of the plan, EPA removed the buried materials, and treated over 90,000 tons of soil onsite. Although initial testing was inconclusive, further testing found no significant levels of any site-related contaminants in the ground water, and no cleanup action was required.

The notice of the deleted listing on the NPL of the Industrial Latex site was published in the Federal Register April 21, 2003. For members of the public interested in obtaining copies of the notice or a detailed site description, please contact the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810.