Cleanup Plan in the Works for CPS/Madison Superfund Site

Actions are underway to clean up the CPS/Madison Superfund site in Old Bridge, N.J. In late April, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed a proposed plan to expand and enhance the site’s existing groundwater treatment system, as well as treating tainted soil causing groundwater contamination.

A Look at the Proposed Cleanup Plan

Past chemical manufacturing activities at the CPS/Madison Superfund site left the soil and groundwater contaminated with metals and volatile organic compounds, such as 1.4-dioxane. The proposed EPA plan involves treating contaminated soil with chemical oxidants — including ozone and peroxide — to rid the soil of organic contaminants by breaking dangerous chemicals down into water and carbon dioxide.

Under the proposed plan, the soil would be mixed with augers, while oxidants are simultaneously pumped into it. Additionally, the EPA would mandate the excavation and relocation of roughly 900 cubic yards of soil contaminated by 1,4-dioxane to the treatment area to be oxidized and integrated with the rest of the soil. Samples of soil would be subsequently collected and analyzed post-cleanup, to make sure the treatment was a success.

About the Site

The CPS/Madison Industries site consists of two manufacturing facilities on a 35-acre lot. The former CPS Chemical plant was acquired by Ciba in 1998 and remained in operation until 2001. Activities that took place at the site include the processing, treatment and storage of organic chemicals used to produce water treatment agents, lubricants, oil field chemicals, and anti-corrosive agents. In 2009, BASF Corporation acquired the site from CIBA and is now responsible for it.

Madison Industries and its sister company Old Bridge Chemical remain in business. The former manufactures zinc compounds used in fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and food additives, while the latter creates copper compounds found in fertilizers and food additives.

According to the EPA, the site owners have improperly handled and disposed of hazardous substances since 1967. This includes releasing discharge into the public sewer system, which contaminated the soil and groundwater.

Investigations and subsequent cleanup efforts have been underway since the 1990s. The EPA has been responsible for CPS remedial investigations and site cleanup since 2005 and Madison since 2015.          

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