Contaminated Sites in NJ Getting Federal Funding For Cleanup
SOUTH PLAINFIELD — Three toxic properties in New Jersey are getting federal funding to aid in the removal of lingering contamination.
The three sites are among 22 nationwide that were chosen to share $1 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
"New Jersey has more Superfund sites than any other state. Middlesex County has more Superfund sites than any other county," U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, said during a Monday press conference near the former site of Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc.
An estimated 50% of New Jersey's population lives within three miles of a Superfund site, Pallone's office said. "Superfund" refers to sites that have been designated by the government as in need of cleanup due to hazardous waste.
"New Jersey boasts the most Superfund sites in the country because we seek them out and clean them up — a mark not of indignity, but of our resolve," said Shawn LaTourette, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The following sites are getting a piece of the federal funding:
Between 1936 and 1962, poor practices by the electronics manufacturer resulted in releases of contaminants that made their way into the soil, sediment, and groundwater at the site along Hamilton Boulevard.
The 26-acre property is now known as Hamilton Industrial Park.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has divided the site into phases, due to its size and the project's complexity.
In the latest phase, contaminated sentiment is being removed from Bound Brook. Nearby soil, starting from the upstream and proceeding downstream, is also being removed.
Officials continue to urge the public not to fish in the brook until cleanup is completed.
According to the EPA, the junkyard/landfill/recycling facility on Route 130 crushed vehicle battery casings and household waste along Hessian Run, among other environmental no-nos.
The facility, which got its start in 1961, abandoned drums of unknown waste, and that waste dispersed across the state.
A metal salvaging operation remains active at the site. The area is covered with recycled crushed aggregate and recycled asphalt to minimize exposure to contamination. The rest of the property is unused and vacant, surrounded by a chain link fence.
From the 1950s through the early 1970s, various parties used the site as a dump area for septic and industrial waste, according to EPA.
Contamination from the site impacted soil and groundwater in the nearby residential neighborhood.