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EPA to Clean Up Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Site

Release Date: 10/28/2004
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(#04169) NEW YORK, N.Y. - Contaminated soil, debris and buildings located on the Cornell-Dubilier Electronics (CDE) site in South Plainfield, New Jersey will be cleaned up, according to a plan released today by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The CDE site is contaminated with a variety of compounds, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides and metals.

"We've addressed the immediate concerns at the Cornell-Dubilier site, and now we plan to focus on contamination problems that pose long-term risks to the community and the environment," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "We will direct our efforts toward getting the work started as soon as possible."

The CDE site was listed on EPA's National Priorities List in July 1998. In September 2003, EPA selected a cleanup for the contaminated residential, commercial and municipal properties near the Hamilton Industrial Park. These properties will be addressed by excavating approximately 2,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil, and cleaning up indoor dust that is contaminated with PCBs.

Under EPA's plan for the 25-acre industrial park, the Agency will excavate approximately 115,000 cubic yards of highly-contaminated soil and debris. A portion of the contaminated soil will be thermally-treated on-site and replaced. The remainder of the excavated soil as well as the debris will be transported off-site for disposal. In addition, soil with low levels of contamination will be isolated on the property underneath a specially designed cover. Certain on-site buildings will be demolished, and contaminated debris from this demolition will be transported off-site for disposal. Since it is possible that some of the buildings could be left standing, EPA's plan also includes a contingency for cleaning up buildings that may not need to be demolished. Cornell-Dubilier Electronics operated at the industrial park from 1936 to 1962, manufacturing electronic components including capacitors. PCBs and chlorinated organic degreasing solvents were used in CDE's manufacturing process. The company apparently disposed of PCB-contaminated materials and other hazardous substances directly on the facility soils. PCBs were widely used as a fire preventive and insulator in the manufacture of transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment because of their ability to withstand exceptionally high temperatures.