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Responsible Parties Agree To Clean Up Contaminated Soil and Groundwater At The Chemsol, Inc. Superfund Site in Piscataway, New Jersey

Release Date: 08/19/1999
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(#99141) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Under a proposed $23 million agreement with the federal government and the state of New Jersey, a group of companies deemed responsible for hazardous waste at the Chemsol, Inc. federal Superfund site in Piscataway would pay to complete the cleanup of this inactive solvent recovery and waste processing facility on Fleming Street. The parties would be required to excavate and dispose of an estimated 18,500 cubic yards of soil contaminated by volatile organic compounds(VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead off-site. In addition, the groundwater pump and treat system already operating at the site would be enhanced with additional extraction wells to more aggressively clean up the groundwater, which is contaminated primarily with VOCs. These cleanup activities are part of the final cleanup plan the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected in October 1998 for the site. It is expected to cost $18 million.

"EPA acted early and decisively at this site to contain groundwater contamination and protect the public," said EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox. "We look forward to the continued cooperation of these companies so that the cleanup can be completed, and not at the expense of taxpayers."

"New Jersey's efforts to aggressively identify Superfund sites in the State and see that they are cleaned up continue to pay dividends, resulting in significant improvements in environmental quality," said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn.

The responsible parties have agreed to carry out the long-term cleanup plan under the terms of a Consent Decree jointly lodged on August 10 by the U.S. Department of Justice and the New Jersey Attorney General's office on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The proposed settlement requires the companies to continue operating the groundwater treatment system at the site while the final cleanup plan is being designed at a cost of $1.1 million. Payment provisions of the settlement require the companies to reimburse $1.5 million of EPA's past response costs. New Jersey will receive $750,000 from the companies to reimburse the State's past response costs and natural resource damage claim. The settlement also includes payments by several federal agencies of $1.5 million to the EPA Hazardous Substances Superfund and $32,000 to the State of New Jersey. The companies have also agreed to reimburse EPA's and New Jersey's future oversight costs and negotiated a settlement with parties that are considered de minimis contributors of waste to the site.

In 1991, EPA decided that an interim measure to address groundwater contamination at the site was needed until a final remedy for the problem could be identified. Under an order issued by the federal government, the companies paid for the construction of an extraction and treatment system, which has been effectively controlling the plume of VOC contamination in the groundwater since 1994.

The proposed consent decree may be examined at the Office of the United States Attorney, District of New Jersey, Federal Building, 7th Floor, 970 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region II, Office of Regional Counsel, New Jersey Superfund Branch, 17th Floor, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866, and at the Consent Decree Library, 1120 G Street, N.W., 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005.

Any comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530, and should refer to United States v. Allied Signal Inc., et al., D.J. Ref. 90-11-3-06104. The Department of Justice will receive comments for a thirty day period commencing on August 16.

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Attached are lists indicating the private responsible parties settling with the EPA and the State of New Jersey, the settling federal agencies and the de minimis parties.

Settling Private Parties

Allied Signal Inc.; Ashland Inc.; BASF Corp.; Becton, Dickinson and Co.; Benjamin Moore & Co.; Borden, Inc.; Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp.; Colgate-Palmolive Co.; Con-Lux Coatings, Inc.; Curtiss-Wright Corp.; Cytec Industries Inc.; The Dow Chemical Co.; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. Exxon Chemical Americas; Fisher-Price, Inc.; Ford Motor Co.; General Electric Co.; General Motors Corp.; Gulton Industries; Henkel Corp.; Hercules, Inc.; HNA Holdings, Inc.; Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc.; Indopco, Inc. d/b/a National Starch and Chemical Co.; International Business Machines) Corp.; International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Kimberly-Clark Corp.; Lucent Technologies Inc.; Mattel, Inc.; Mayco Oil & Chemical; Merck & Co.; Mobil Business Resources Corp.; Morton International, Inc.; Novartis Corp.; Olin Corp.; Pfizer Inc.; PPG Industries, Inc.; Pratt & Whitney; Reichhold, Inc.; Rohm and Haas Co.; Schering Corp.; Sequa Corp.; Shell Oil Co.; Solutia Inc.; Tang Realty, Inc.; Texaco, Inc.; Union Carbide Corp.; USX Corp.; W.R. Grace & Co.;  Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Settling Federal Agencies

U.S. General Services Administration
U.S. Department of the Army
U.S. Department of the Navy
U.S. Department of the Air Force

Settling De Minimis Parties

Ashland, Inc.; BASF Corp.; Becton, Dickinson & Co.; Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp.; Con-Lux Coatings, Inc.; The Dow Chemical Co.; Fisher Price, Inc.; Henkel Corp.; Indopco, Inc.; International Flavors & Fragrances; Johnson & Johnson; Kimberly-Clark Corp.; Mattel, Inc.; Mayco Oil & Chemical; Morton International, Inc.; Novartis Corp.; Olin Corp.; PPG Industries, Inc.; Reichhold, Inc.; Sequa Corp.; USX Corp.; W.R. Grace & Co.

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