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EPA Proposes PCB Cleanup Plan for Properties Near Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Superfund Site

Release Date: 06/16/2003
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(#03067) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking community input on its plan to clean up polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in soil and interior dust at properties near a former electronic component manufacturing facility known as Cornell-Dubilier Electronics (CDE).

Under the proposed plan, an estimated 2,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed, and the interiors of homes that contain dust contaminated by PCBs will be cleaned. The residents of these homes will be temporarily relocated during the cleaning process. The plan will cost approximately $760,000, and the cleanup is expected to take about one year. EPA has targeted approximately 59 properties for additional testing. Based on the testing performed to date, EPA has identified four homes that will need soil cleanup. Conservative estimates indicate that approximately 12 more properties will need soil cleanup, and seven homes will need indoor dust removed.

"The proposed cleanup plan will substantially reduce the long-term risk for residents of this New Jersey community," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "We encourage the public to review the proposed plan, and get back to us with comments."

In order to clean up the site as quickly as possible, it has been divided into three operable units. Today's plan addresses operable unit 1, and focuses on residential, commercial and municipal properties near the CDE site. The other areas, which deal with facility soils and buildings, and groundwater and contaminated sediment respectively, will be addressed in the future. Potentially responsible parties for the site include Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Corporation, Dana Corporation, Dana Corporation Foundation, Federal Pacific Electric Company, and DSC of Newark Enterprises Inc., the current owner of the Hamilton Industrial Park.

In 1997, DSC was ordered to immediately reduce the risks associated with contaminated soil and surface water runoff from the facility. Actions included paving driveways and parking areas, installing a security fence and implementing drainage controls. Further tests of soil and indoor dust at residential properties near the CDE facility showed elevated levels of PCBs; and the parties were ordered to remove contaminated soil from a total of 13 properties over the course of three years. Additionally, EPA removed PCB-contaminated dust from the interiors of 15 homes.

The site, located at 333 Hamilton Blvd., South Plainfield, was added to EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) of the most serious hazardous waste sites in July 1998. PCBs are alleged to have been dumped or buried by CDE at the industrial park during its operations between 1936 and 1962. Elevated levels (greater than one part per million) could pose long-term health risks for area residents. EPA has scheduled a public meeting at 7:00 p.m. on June 23 at Borough Hall, 2480 Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield, New Jersey, to explain the proposed plan and all of the alternatives presented in the Feasibility Study for the site. The public comment period begins today and will end on July 16, 2003. Copies of site-related documents and the proposed cleanup plan are available for public review at the South Plainfield Library, 2484 Plainfield Avenue, (908) 754-7885. Comments will be received at the meeting, or can be sent to: Pete Mannino, Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th floor, New York, N.Y. 10007-1866.