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EPA Reaches Settlement with Princeton Gamma-Tech, Inc. Over Two Superfund Sites in Somerset County

Release Date: 03/14/2005
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(#05022) NEW YORK -- The federal government has reached an agreement with Princeton Gamma-Tech, Inc. requiring the company to pay $5 million for cleanup work at the Higgins Farm and Higgins Disposal Superfund sites, both located in Franklin Township, New Jersey. The agreement is embodied in a Consent Decree, which was lodged in December 2004 in United States District Court by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Of the $5 million payment, $3.5 million will go to Higgins Farm and $1.5 million will go to Higgins Disposal.

"We've made great progress in cleaning up both sites, removing the source of contamination and continuing work to protect people's health," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "This settlement illustrates that Superfund is working - sites are getting cleaned up, with reimbursement of our costs."

The former owner of both the Higgins Farm and Higgins Disposal sites operated a waste hauling business between the mid -1950s to 1985, and Princeton Gamma-Tech was one of the industrial customers. Wastes, including drums and containers, were buried at both Higgins sites. Many of the buried drums and containers leaked their contents, which contained hazardous substances, into the surrounding soil and ground water. During the 1990s, EPA removed wastes and contaminated soils from both sites. The Agency is currently operating a ground water treatment system at Higgins Farm to clean the contaminated ground water, and a smaller on-site ground water treatment system is planned for the Higgins Disposal site.

The consent decree is a companion settlement to a cost recovery action that EPA brought against Princeton Gamma-Tech for its costs in the cleanup of contaminated ground water at the Rocky Hill and Montgomery Township Superfund sites in New Jersey. Princeton Gamma-Tech manufactures X-ray and gamma-ray detectors at the company's Montgomery Township facility, and the company was brought into the Higgins cost recovery actions as a third-party defendant.