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EPA Proposes Plan to Address Contaminated Soil at Evor Phillips Site

Release Date: 08/26/2008
Contact Information: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662, totman.elizabeth@epa.gov

(New York, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), is proposing a plan to address contaminated soil at the Evor Phillips Leasing Company Superfund site, which spans 6 acres of unoccupied land located in a largely industrial area in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey. EPA will hold a public meeting to explain the proposal on September 9, 2008 at 7pm at the Old Bridge Central Library, One Old Bridge Plaza, Municipal Center in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

“To date, dozens of buried drums and over a thousand buried waste containers have been removed from the site and now EPA will address remaining contaminated soil at the site,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “We encourage members of the Old Bridge community to attend the public meeting to learn more.”

Under the plan, contaminated soil that poses a human health exposure risk located in six isolated areas along the eastern portion of the site would be dug up and consolidated with similarly contaminated soils in the center of the site. The excavated areas would be backfilled with clean fill. In addition, four areas of contaminated soil located in the central portion of the site that is contributing to groundwater contamination would be excavated and removed from the site. These four areas would then be backfilled with the soil taken from the eastern areas and clean fill, as necessary. Once these areas are addressed, a cover consisting of clean soil, asphalt, or crushed stone, would be placed over the contaminated soils in the center of the site. The cover would be approximately 1.5 acres.

From the early 1970s to 1986, the site was used for industrial waste treatment and metal reclamation operations. From 1972 until their closure in 1975, two treatment ponds were reportedly used at the site to neutralize acidic and caustic wastewater. The site was also used to incinerate and recover silver from photographic film and printed circuit boards during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

In the early 1970’s, the NJDEP required the operators of the site to install and operate systems to treat liquid waste. When the operators failed to comply with this order, NJDEP closed the treatment ponds in 1975. The site was listed on EPA’s list of the nation’s most hazardous waste sites in September 1983 and the state excavated and removed approximately 40 drums from the site. All operations at the site ceased in 1986.

NJDEP conducted extensive investigations of the site into the early 1990’s and concluded that the ground water at the site was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethylene (TCE) and heavy metals. Based on these results, NJDEP and EPA required that ground water be addressed. The companies responsible for the contamination at the site constructed the ground water treatment system, which was completed in 1999. The companies also demolished office buildings and furnaces, and removed buried drums, contaminated soil, and underground storage tanks.

The overall cleanup approach for the site consists of three phases. The first stage, conducted under the NJDEP, involves the removal of buried drums and associated contaminated soil and the construction of an on-site ground water treatment system to address the most highly contaminated ground water. The cleanup of on-site contaminated soil, which is the subject of this proposed plan, is the second phase. The last phase will be a comprehensive long-term remedy to address on- and off-site ground water.

A public comment period will run until September 17, 2008. EPA will select the final soil remedy for the Evor Phillips Leasing Company Superfund site after reviewing and considering all comments submitted during the public comment period. Interested individuals can send comments to:

Mark Granger, Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
290 Broadway, 20th floor
New York, New York 10007-1866
Granger.mark@epa.gov

For more information on the Evor Phillips Leasing Company Superfund site, go to: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/evorphillips/. For more about EPA’s Superfund program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/.

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