SEEKS SCRAP YARD SHUT DOWN AND CLEANUP
Court Action Calls
for State to Conduct Work if Company Fails to Act
(04/141) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today
announced that the state Attorney General filed a motion
on behalf of DEP in Superior Court requiring Boro Auto Wrecking
Company in South Plainfield to cease operations so the contaminated
site can be cleaned up.
"After years of delays and missed deadlines by the
responsible party, it is time to shut this place down and
clean it up," said Commissioner Campbell. "Our
court action is another example of DEP advancing protection
of the Raritan River watershed from uncontrolled waste sites."
DEP will authorize $500,000 in public funds to begin testing
and cleanup work at the Boro Auto site due to negligence
by the responsible parties that have caused discharges of
hazardous substances into the environment, including PCBs
and gasoline. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Friday,
December 17 in Superior Court, Chancery Division, Middlesex
"We will continue to protect land, water and air from
contamination through aggressive environmental enforcement,"
said Attorney General Peter C. Harvey.
"I commend DEP Commissioner Brad Campbell for his
persistence and diligence," said Assemblyman Patrick
J. Diegnan. "Addressing the contamination at Boro Auto
Wrecking will enhance the quality of life for all the residents
of South Plainfield."
DEP's initial scope of work calls for the classification
and removal of on-site waste piles. Also, the site must
be graded and a cap and storm water collection and treatment
system installed. In terms of off-site properties, a remedial
investigation is necessary of the sites to determine the
extent of contamination.
"The Edison Wetlands Association believes the DEP
must immediately move to close and cleanup the Boro Auto
Wrecking site," said Robert Spiegel, executive director
of the Edison Wetlands Association. "Twenty years ago
the DEP ordered the owners to address contamination at the
site and to date nothing has been done. The Edison Wetlands
Association fully supports adding this site to the Raritan
River Initiative to expedite its cleanup."
DEP announced its Raritan River Initiative in September
to focus on contaminated sites where cleanup work to address
both ongoing discharges and long-term remediation has lagged
in recent years.
Boro Auto is a salvage and metal recycling facility in
operation since 1935. Located at 2271 Hamilton Avenue, the
facility has several buildings and concrete pads within
a large, fenced-in storage yard used for offices, equipment
maintenance and scrap storage. Ferrous and non-ferrous scrap
are stockpiled in the open yard along with large soil and
debris piles. Boro Auto processes automobile engines and
transmissions and other types of scrap metal. The metal
scrap is crushed, stripped of non-metallic materials, weighed
and shipped off-site for recycling.
Previous investigations performed by the company found
soil and ground water contamination related to discharges
at the site. Tests of off-site properties revealed soil
contamination from storm water coming from the site. To
date, Boro Auto has failed to complete necessary remedial
investigations and actions as required by a 1990 DEP administrative
consent order (ACO), a 1997 judicial consent order and a
2003 DEP ACO.
The Lower Raritan Watershed covers 352 square miles in
the central New Jersey counties of Middlesex, Monmouth,
Somerset and Union. It contains the Raritan River, Green
Brook, South River, Lawrence Brook and Manalapan Brook.
The land use is more than 50 percent urban, with remaining
wetlands (19.7 percent), forest land (17.5 percent), agriculture,
water, and barren land.
With help from the Edison Wetlands Association, DEP identified
sites along the Raritan River with continuing discharges
that included: Edison Township Landfill, Edgeboro Landfill,
ILR Landfill, Hatco and Rhône-Poulenc/Bayer CropScience.
DEP is reviewing additional sites along the river. If appropriate
action is not taken within new timeframes set by DEP to
address the immediate concerns, the Department will proceed
with formal enforcement measures against the responsible