EPA proposes cleanup plan for Unimatic Superfund Site

July 15, 2020
Plan addresses PCB contamination in soil and groundwater at Fairfield, N.J., site

FAIRFIELD, N.J. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a cleanup plan to address contaminated sediment and groundwater at the Unimatic Manufacturing Corporation Superfund Site in Fairfield, N.J. The plan includes removing and disposing of contaminated sediment from the site and the long-term monitoring of the groundwater to protect people’s health.

Before ending its operations at the site, Unimatic used the site to run a metals molding facility and operated machines using lubricating oil that contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The company’s operations contaminated the soil, groundwater and a building on the property with PCBs.

“Under our successful Superfund program, we are proposing the best course of action to protect residents from PCB-contamination from this site over the long-term,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA is protecting human health and in this case is addressing PCBs, which were widely used in industrial and commercial applications until they were banned in 1979.”

This is the second of two cleanup plans that the agency has issued for the Unimatic site. Under the EPA’s first cleanup plan, finalized in 2016, the building located at 25 Sherwood Lane will be demolished and the contaminated soil will be excavated and disposed of at an off-site facility.

Under the proposed cleanup plan announced today, EPA is proposing to excavate and remove approximately 865 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from drainage areas located downstream of the site. These areas of wetlands and vegetation that are disturbed will be restored. EPA would implement institutional controls such as restricting the use of groundwater from the site and long-term monitoring to prevent and reduce human exposure to contaminated groundwater until the cleanup goals are met. Also, Furthermore, EPA is requiring periodic collection and analysis of groundwater samples to verify that the level and extent of contaminants are declining.

A 30-day public comment period for the proposed plan will occur from July 14, 2020 to August 12, 2020. EPA will host a Virtual Public Meeting on July 23, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. To register for the public meeting, visit https://unimatic-superfund.eventbrite.com. To learn more about the public meeting, visit www.epa.gov/superfund/unimatic or contact Donette Samuel at [email protected] or (212) 637-3570.

Written comments on EPA's proposed plan may be mailed or emailed to Trevor Anderson, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866 or [email protected]. Comments postmarked on or before August 4, will be accepted.

The EPA's proposed plan for the site will be made available at www.epa.gov/superfund/unimatic

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/eparegion2

Source: U.S. EPA

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