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EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan for Howell Superfund Site

Release Date: 08/24/2004
Contact Information:
(#04132) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking community input on its plan to clean up contaminated soil, sediment and ground water at the Zschiegner Refining Company site located in Howell Township, New Jersey. Under the proposed plan, approximately 2,900 cubic yards of soil and 4,500 cubic yards of sediment will be excavated and disposed off-site. In addition, ground water will be monitored to evaluate the need for future treatment. The total cost of EPA's proposed cleanup is approximately $6.7 million.

"EPA's goal is to remove the sources of contamination that threaten local wetlands and pose a long-term risk to the community," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "I encourage the public to get involved now and stay involved throughout the process."

The Zschiegner Refining Company operated from 1964 to 1992, recovering precious metals from items such as watch bands, photographic film, and electrical components. The facility was raided in October 1992 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency based on suspicions of illegal drug manufacturing. At the time of the raid, approximately 3,000 different chemicals including peroxides, cyanides, caustics and acids were found improperly stored at the facility. EPA subsequently segregated and removed approximately 3,600 gallons of hazardous solutions and 1,400 small containers of hazardous substances from the site.

The site was listed on the National Priorities List of the nation's most hazardous waste sites in March 1998. In September 1998, EPA began a study to evaluate the nature and extent of the contamination on the site. The results of this study revealed that metals, including chromium, copper and nickel, are the primary contaminants at the site.

EPA will explain the proposed plan at a public meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 25 at the Howell Middle School South, 1 Kuzminski Way in Howell. Copies of site-related documents and the proposed plan are available for public review at the Howell Township Library, Old Tavern Road in Howell, (732) 938-2300 and at EPA's New York office. The publicc omment period begins on August 20 and will end on September 18, 2004.

The Project Manager, Ms. Stephanie Vaughn, will accept written or verbal comments at the meeting, or via mail at:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
290 Broadway, 19th floor
New York, N.Y. 10007-1866

telephone: 212-637-3914, or