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Newly-Appointed EPA Regional Administrator Checks Progress at Recovery Act-Funded New Jersey Hazardous Waste Site

Release Date: 12/11/2009
Contact Information: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662, totman.elizabeth@epa.gov

(New York, NY) Making good on the Obama Administration’s goal of cleaning up contaminated sites while creating jobs and boosting local economies, Judith Enck, the newly-appointed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator, paid a visit to the Cornell Dubilier Superfund site in South Plainfield, New Jersey at which $30 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds is being put to work for the community. The Recovery Act money has accelerated the hazardous waste cleanup already underway at the site, and is part of the $600 million being used to advance work at Superfund sites across the country.

"The Recovery Act gives us a way to pick up the pace of hazardous waste cleanups in New Jersey and across the country, creating jobs and giving a boost to local economies,” said Regional Administrator Enck. “Here at Cornell Dubilier, we are now able to make progress on work that must be done before this site can be returned to productive use.”

The $30 million in Recovery Act funding allocated to the Cornell Dubilier site is being put towards the cleanup of soil and debris contaminated with PCB’s, chlorinated solvents, heavy metals and pesticides, which pose a threat to the surrounding community. Contaminated soil is being treated on-site using a technology that heats the material so that contaminants can be pulled out and captured. This technology is called low temperature thermal desorption. Soil that cannot be cleaned using this method will be taken off-site for disposal. Addressing the contaminated soil will allow redevelopment to begin at the industrial park, which is part of a Borough of South Plainfield redevelopment plan. Prior to this latest infusion of funding, a great deal of work had already been done at this site, including the demolition of 18 buildings on the property and the excavation of highly-contaminated soil at the site.

By starting or speeding up cleanups at Superfund sites, Recovery Act funding is also increasing the speed at which these sites are returned to productive use. When a Superfund site is redeveloped, it can offer significant ecological, health and economic benefits to local communities, including future job creation.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2009 and has directed the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at http://www.recovery.gov.

For more information on this and other sites funded through ARRA, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/eparecovery. For more information about the Cornell Dubilier site, go to http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/cornell.

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