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December 13, 2004

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795


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 County.

"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 parties.



Cleanup Work at Five Sites Begins DEP Raritan Initiative (NJDEP News Release)

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