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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2005

Contact: Peter Boger
(609) 984-1795

COURT ALLOWS CLEAN UP OF SCRAP YARD TO BEGIN

Company's Failure to Act Leads to Shutdown

(05/11) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today applauded the Superior Court for directing the Boro Auto Wrecking Company in South Plainfield to cease operations and for allowing the DEP unfettered access for 18 months to clean up the contaminated scrap yard. In addition, the court ordered Boro Auto to pay DEP a penalty of $25,250.

"I commend the court for recognizing the urgent need to address contamination at this significantly polluted facility," said Commissioner Campbell. "The shutdown of this facility is long overdue after years of stalling by the responsible party. We are determined to clean up this site to help protect the Raritan River watershed."

In November, Attorney General Peter Harvey filed a motion in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Middlesex County on behalf of the DEP calling for the closure of Boro Auto. Judge Travis L. Francis issued his order on February 4, 2005.

"Boro Auto Wrecking has contaminated land in South Plainfield with PCBs, gasoline and other hazardous substances, which put at risk the health of children and adults living in this community," said Attorney General Harvey. "Acting at our request, the Court has stopped the polluting activity of this company. We will continue to protect New Jersey's land, water and air through aggressive environmental enforcement."

"It is impossible to commend Commissioner Campbell adequately for his steadfast determination to remove this environmental hazard that has been left unattended for nearly 20 years," Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. said. "As a lifelong resident of South Plainfield, it is reassuring to know that the health and safety of those who live in our borough are a top priority to the Department of Environmental Protection."

DEP has authorized $500,000 to begin publicly funded testing and cleanup work at the Boro Auto Wrecking Site. Among the hazardous substances contaminating the site and threatening nearby natural resources are PCBs and petroleum hydrocarbons.

DEP's initial scope of work calls for the classification and removal of on-site waste piles. Also, the site will be graded, a cap installed, and a stormwater collection and treatment system installed to prevent pollution of area water resources. A remedial investigation will determine the extent of off-site contamination. DEP's remedy also calls for the excavation of PCB soils and off-site disposal.

Boro Auto is a salvage and metal recycling facility that had been in operation since 1936. It processed automobile engines and transmissions and other types of scrap metal.

Previous investigations performed by the company found soil and ground water contamination from the company's operations. Tests of off-site properties revealed soil contamination from stormwater coming from the site. The state was forced to take this latest action after Boro Auto's failure to perform remedial investigations and actions required by a 1990 DEP administrative consent order (ACO), a 1997 judicial consent order and a 2003 DEP ACO.

 

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Last Updated: February 9, 2005