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Chemical Soil Cleanup System Warms Up At Federal Superfund Site in Wallington Borough As U.S. EPA and Public Watch

Release Date: 02/12/1999
Contact Information: Rich Cahill (212) 637-3666 /

(#99023) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials and members of the community visited the Industrial Latex Superfund site in Wallington Borough, Bergen County, New Jersey today to observe a trial run of a newly constructed treatment system that will clean up an estimated 27,000 tons of soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the site. The goal of the $15 million project is to clean the soil to levels that will allow for redevelopment of the site without restrictions on its future use. The cleanup, which should be completed this fall, is being financed by the Superfund Trust Fund, with a 10% contribution from New Jersey, because EPA has been unable to identify any viable responsible parties to pay for the work.

The site, a former chemical adhesive and plasticizing operation that was abandoned in 1980, is located along Mount Pleasant Avenue. More than 1,600 drums of chemicals haphazardly strewn inside two contaminated buildings and around the property, buried drums, vats, and tons of contaminated soil were left behind when the facility closed.

"We have used all the tools of our federal Superfund cleanup program at this site to eliminate the threat to public health and the local environment," EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox stated. "The soil cleanup will remove the last remaining source of chemical contamination at the site, and do so safely without polluting the air. It sets the stage for the redevelopment of the property with the potential for building new residences, commercial establishments or public community facilities. It was a liability; it will be an asset for Wallington in the near future," Ms. Fox said.

When the thermal treatment system, which uses a soil dryer to separate the PCBs from the heated soil into a gas, is operational, it will process an average of more than 200 tons of contaminated soil per day. A series of condensing scrubbers and carbon filters will then capture the PCBs, which will be transported off-site for treatment. During the soil excavation, an estimated 600 buried drums will also be removed for appropriate off-site disposal. The clean, treated soil will be used to backfill the excavated areas on the property. When the project is completed, the system will be dismantled and transported off the site. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, is handling the day-to-day management of the cleanup contractor's activities.

EPA is in the process of determining whether there is a need to clean up any groundwater contamination related to the site. A decision is expected within a year.

After stabilizing the contamination at the site through a number of initial Superfund emergency actions starting in 1986, EPA placed the property on its National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites in July 1988 for long-term cleanup. EPA completed the demolition of the buildings and the removal and off-site disposal of process vats in November 1995.

For more information contact:
Richard Cahill, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3666 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: