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EPA Finalizes Plan to Address Contaminated Soil at Evor Phillips Leasing Company Site

Release Date: 10/15/2008
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664,

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), has finalized a plan to address contaminated soil remaining at the Evor Phillips Leasing Company Superfund site, which spans six acres of unoccupied land located in a largely industrial area in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey. Dozens of buried drums, over a thousand buried waste containers, and associated contaminated soil have already been removed from the site.

“EPA is eager to begin work on this next phase of the cleanup,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “The finalization of this cleanup plan allows us to move forward in the near future.”

Under the plan, contaminated soil that poses a potential risk to people’s health, located in six isolated areas along the eastern portion of the site, will be dug up and consolidated with similarly-contaminated soil in the center of the site. The excavated areas will then be backfilled with clean fill. In addition, four areas of contaminated soil located in the central portion of the site that are contributing to ground water contamination will be excavated and removed from the site. These four areas will then be backfilled with the soil taken from the eastern areas and clean fill, as necessary. Once these areas are addressed, a cover consisting of clean soil, asphalt, or crushed stone, will be placed over the contaminated soil in the center of the site. The cover will be placed over approximately 1.5 acres.

From the early 1970s to 1986, the site was used for industrial waste treatment and metal reclamation operations. From 1972 until their closure in 1975, two treatment ponds were reportedly used at the site to neutralize acidic and caustic wastewater. The site was also used to incinerate and recover silver from photographic film and printed circuit boards during the 1970s and 1980s.

In the early 1970s, NJDEP required the operators of the site to install and operate systems to treat liquid waste. When the operators failed to comply with this order, NJDEP closed the treatment ponds in 1975. The site was listed on EPA’s list of the nation’s most hazardous waste sites in September 1983 and the state excavated and removed approximately 40 drums from the site. All operations at the site ceased in 1986.

NJDEP conducted extensive investigations of the site into the early 1990’s and concluded that the ground water at the site was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethylene (TCE) and heavy metals. Based on these results, NJDEP and EPA required that ground water be addressed. The companies responsible for the contamination at the site constructed the ground water treatment system, which was completed in 1999. The companies also demolished office buildings and furnaces, and removed buried drums, contaminated soil, and underground storage tanks.

The overall cleanup approach for the site consists of three phases. The first phase, conducted under NJDEP, involved the removal of buried drums and associated contaminated soil and the construction of an on-site ground water treatment system to address the most highly contaminated ground water. The cleanup of on-site contaminated soil, which is the subject of this finalized plan, is the second phase. The last phase will be a comprehensive long-term remedy to address on- and off-site ground water.

EPA became the lead agency in overseeing the cleanup of this site this past spring. A public comment period ran from August 18, 2008 until September 17, 2008. EPA held a public meeting to explain the proposal on September 9, 2008. The final soil remedy for Evor Phillips Leasing Company Superfund site was selected after reviewing and considering all comments submitted during the public comment period.

For more information on the Evor Phillips Leasing Company Superfund site, go to: For more about EPA’s Superfund program, visit:

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