EPA Finalizes Cleanup Plan to Address PCB Contamination at the Unimatic Superfund Site in Fairfield, New Jersey

News Releases from Region 02

10/01/2020

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Fairfield, N.J. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized its cleanup plan to address contaminated sediment and groundwater at the Unimatic Manufacturing Corporation Superfund Site in Fairfield, New Jersey. The final cleanup plan, contained in a document called a Record of Decision, includes removing and disposing of contaminated sediment from the site and putting site use restriction into place and 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 metal molding facility and operated machines with lubricating oil that contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The company’s operations contaminated the soil, groundwater and a building on the property with PCBs.

“EPA has been working to address the risks associated with PCBs at the site since 2012 when, at the request of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, EPA collected soil samples and samples from within the building at the Unimatic Manufacturing Corporation Superfund Site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA’s plan will protect residents from the PCB contamination at the site over the long-term by removing contaminated sediment and restoring wetlands while monitoring and controlling area groundwater.”

This is the second of two cleanup plans that the agency has issued for the Unimatic site. Under EPA’s first Record of Decision, 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 finalized cleanup plan announced today, EPA will oversee the excavation and removal of approximately 1,300 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from drainage areas located downstream of the site. The areas of wetlands and vegetation disturbed by the cleanup will then be restored. EPA will also 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. Furthermore, EPA will be collecting and analyzing groundwater samples periodically to verify that the level and extent of contaminants are declining.

EPA held a virtual public meeting on July 23, 2020 to explain its cleanup plan, discuss the other cleanup options that were considered and solicit public comments.

EPA’s selected cleanup plan, outlined in the Record of Decision, can be found 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

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