DEP Collects $80,000 Penalty
from Hercules Incorporated for Cleanup
State to Develop Investigation Plan for Simmonds Site to
(04/61) TRENTON - The New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced
that Hercules Incorporated paid an $80,000 penalty for delays
in completing a full investigation and cleanup at its Simmonds
Precision site located in Chester Township, Morris County.
DEP is preparing an investigation plan for the Simmonds
site that will identify all actions required to generate
a protective cleanup, both of which Hercules must implement
or face further enforcement action.
"This action compels Hercules to accelerate cleanup
work at the Simmonds site due to the company's non-compliance
with past DEP orders to remedy contamination problems,"
said Assistant Commissioner Joseph Seebode. "The company
agreed to pay a penalty and conduct cleanup work following
a specific schedule to address decades-old contamination
at this former aircraft parts manufacturing plant."
Hercules posted a $3 million letter of credit to cover
any future cleanup costs should it default on its obligations
to finish remedial work required by DEP at the Simmonds
site. Also, DEP is in settlement negotiations with Hercules
to address the company's natural resource damage liability
resulting from discharges that occurred at the Chester site.
This month, DEP authorized $84,000 to hire a contractor
to develop a comprehensive plan and schedule for investigation
of remaining contamination at the site. Hercules is required
to reimburse the Department's costs to prepare the report
and will have 30 calendar days to comment on the draft plan.
The company then will be required to implement the remedial
work. Otherwise, DEP will begin the investigation work using
a portion of the funds set aside by Hercules.
Hercules first entered into an Administrative Consent Order
in 1988 with DEP to conduct a remedial investigation and
site cleanup. The ongoing non-compliance by Hercules involves
its long-standing failure to submit technical documents
of acceptable quality, which resulted in numerous deficiency
letters and regulatory admonishments from 1997 to 2004.
On May 9, 2003, DEP first issued a demand for stipulated
penalties to Hercules for cleanup delays and submission
of deficient remedial documents related to the Simmonds
site. DEP also terminated Hercules' active role in the investigation
and remediation of the site on December 18, 2003. Hercules
and DEP this month amended the 1988 order to resolve outstanding
cleanup delay issues.
The Simmonds Precision site covers nine-acres and is bounded
by the Black River Wildlife Management Area. The company
manufactured electrical wiring harnesses for military and
civilian aircraft until cessation of plant
activity in 1993. Contamination from the site has been found
in nearby surface water bodies and a private well, which
required the company to install a point-of-entry treatment
system to provide a safe supply of potable water. Hercules
installed a ground water treatment system in 1998 that remains
operational. However, the system has failed to control the
ongoing discharge of ground water contamination to the Black
River Wildlife Management Area and adjacent Oakdale Creek.
Various chlorinated solvents including trichloroethylene
and tetrachloroethylene have been found in soil, ground
water and sediment in wetlands. Metal contamination, including
zinc and cadmium, have been detected in soils and sediment.