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EPA to Remove Contaminated Soil From the Rockaway Borough Wellfield Site

Release Date: 08/18/2006
Contact Information: Patricia Carr (212) 637-3652,; Benjamin Barry (212) 637-3651,

(New York, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to remove soil contaminated with tetrachloroethene (PCE), a commonly used industrial solvent, from the Rockaway Borough Wellfield site located in Morris County, New Jersey. EPA will dig up the contaminated soil and move it to a location specially certified to treat and dispose of it.

“Soil contamination at the Rockaway Borough site has already affected the ground water, and we are now taking action to eliminate a potential avenue to further contamination,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “We have already installed a treatment system to address the ground water contamination.”

EPA will also hold a public meeting on August 23, 2006 at 7:00 PM at the Rockaway Borough Community Center, 21-25 Union Street, Rockaway, NJ 07866. The public can comment on the proposed plan through September 11, 2006.

The Rockaway Borough Wellfield Site includes three municipal water supply wells where the ground water is contaminated with PCE and TCE, another industrial solvent. In 1985, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection investigated the site and concluded that contamination of the municipal water supply was emanating from multiple source areas within the Borough. Based on these findings, EPA initiated a follow-up investigation to identify the sources of contamination, determine the extent of the contamination, and evaluate potential cleanup methods.

EPA’s investigation fo the area encompassed nearby businesses including dry cleaners, auto body repair shops, auto service and repair shops, banks, hardware stores, hairdressers, convenience stores, and food establishments. The borough police and fire departments, Memorial Park, and municipal parking lots were also within the investigation area. Based on the investigation, EPA determined that the sources of the TCE and PCE contamination are from industrial operations within the borough, including the Klockner and Klockner facility and a dry cleaning operation.

Two treatment systems are being used to address the ground water contamination that included pumping out the water from the contaminated areas and treating it. One system began operating in January 2006 and the second is currently under construction.

For a copy of the proposed plan or for more information on the Rockaway Borough site: Submit written comments to Brian Quinn, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007, or email to