A contaminated industrial park in South Plainfield, New Jersey could be the future site of new businesses thanks to a clean-up project financed partially with $30 million in federal stimulus funding. As reported by Brent Johnson for the Star-Ledger, Cornell Dubilier manufactured electronics components on the 26-acre site for three decades until 1962. The soil was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, 23 metals and 19 pesticides. The contaminated soil on the site is being treated with low temperature thermal desorption or removed and transported to disposal sites located in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Joannie Castagna reported for APP in September 2010 that the Cornell Dubilier Electronics site in South Plainfield and the Maywood Superfund Site in Bergen County, New Jersey are on the EPA’s National Priorities List among the most contaminated sites in the United States. The carcinogens in the South Plainfield site posed a potential health risk for the estimated 8,700 residents that live within a mile of the site and about 500 who live within a quarter-mile. The contamination of Bound Brook threatens fish and wildlife as well as the public’s water supply.
The Bound Brook that borders the site is one of the biggest concerns expressed by the EPA due to elevated levels of cancer-causing chemicals in the water. Pete Mannino, project manager for the EPA, indicated that seven miles of the Bound Brook are being investigated, but the heaviest contamination was behind the industrial park. Mannino pointed out that it will take years before the book is cleaned, but that there is money available for the required studies.
Joe Tyrrell reported for the New Jersey Newsroom that the federal stimulus money should speed up the Superfund cleanup. The clean-up project benefitted from a bankruptcy agreement in December 2009 in which Grupo Mexico agreed to pay $1.79 billion toward clean-ups around the country in order to regain control over the American Smelting and Refining Co. The South Plainfield site clean-up project received almost $1.2 million from the settlement.
Joannie Castagna reported in APP that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is using federal stimulus money to hire local people to work on hazardous waste site clean-up projects throughout New Jersey, including the South Plainfield site. The Army Corps of Engineers works through its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) and supports the EPA’s Region 2 Superfund Program.
The South Plainfield soil clean-up project is expected to be completed by the end of 2011 and the city hopes to start redevelopment of the site, which is part of a Borough of South Plainfield approved redevelopment plan. Once the soil is completely clean, South Plainfield hopes to redevelop the industrial park with retail and office space, stores along the street and a road extension through the property.
Brent Johnson, “South Plainfield Superfund site gets federal stimulus money” – Star-Ledger
Joe Tyrrell, “Federal stimulus funds could hasten cleanup at South Plainfield Superfund site” – New Jersey Newsroom
Joannie Castagna, “Communities recover with Army Corps stimulus money” – APP
Welcoming Development in a Cleaned Up Industrial Park – South Plainfield, N.J. – $30 million – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency