COSDEN CHEMICAL COATINGS CORP.
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The Cosden Chemical Coatings Corp. site is located in Beverly, New Jersey. A paint formulation and manufacturing facility operated at the 6.7-acre site from 1945 until 1989, when it permanently closed. It produced coatings for industrial applications. Facility operations contaminated soil and groundwater with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are potentially harmful contaminants that can easily evaporate into the air. Following immediate cleanup actions to protect human health and the environment, the site’s long-term cleanup is ongoing.
The 6 1/2-acre Cosden Chemical Coatings Corp. site operated under several names from 1945 until 1989, when it permanently closed. The facility produced paints for industrial applications that involved the use of solvents, which were stored in tanks and drums on site. Prior to 1974, solvents and wastes were recycled by a contractor who regularly removed the drums. In 1974, the recycling ceased and the drums accumulated on the site. The owner abandoned the site in 1985. The site first came to the attention of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) following a grass fire at the facility. An inspection by the NJDEP in1980 revealed surface spills and several hundred unsecured drums stored on site. EPA conducted sampling in 1988 and found the soil to be contaminated primarily with heavy metals and the groundwater contaminated with VOCs. Approximately 3,000 people live in the City of Beverly with a residential development bordering the site.
Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through Federal and State actions.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
After the site was put on the NPL in 1987, the EPA undertook a removal action. The first action was the construction of a fence to secure the site from trespassers. This was followed by the removal and offsite disposal of 75 lab pack drums, 300 fifty-five gallon drums, 2,000 gallons of bulk liquids, and 350 empty containers ranging in size from 5 gallon pails to fifty-five gallon drums.
In the September 1992 Record of Decision, EPA chose three specific remedies to deal with the contamination that existed (1) above ground, (2) in the soil, and (3) in the groundwater. These activities are now being addressed as 3 separate phases. The remedial action for above-ground structures included the decontamination, demolition and disposal of all on-site structures, equipment and debris, and was initiated in May 1995 and completed in the spring of 1996. EPA updated the site’s soil remedy to excavation with off-site treatment and disposal in September 1998. The goal of the soil remedy was re-examined and it was determined that the risks to human health and the environment could be significantly reduced by excavating the PCB contaminated soils and removing them from the site. Soil cleanup began in June 1999 and finished in March 2002. In total, 10,711 tons of soil, 1,800 tons of debris and 3,000 gallons of liquid waste were safely removed from the site. After the work finished, the area was backfilled with clean fill, graded and revegetated, giving the site a park-like appearance.
The long-term extraction and treatment of the groundwater got underway in 2009 and is still ongoing. That system daily extracts a large quantity of groundwater, which is then treated to remove the contaminants before being reinjected into the area groundwater.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The site is being addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial phase focused on cleanup of the entire site.
Immediate Actions: Cosden Chemical Coatings Corporation started cleaning up the site in early 1985, segregating and containerizing waste solvents, paints and spills into drums. This effort was abandoned in late 1985, leaving the removal of over 500 drums of hazardous waste to be completed by the State.
In 1989, EPA did a short-term cleanup called a removal action, consolidating hundreds of production and laboratory samples and transporting them off site for incineration at a federally approved facility, as were the contents of one of the underground storage tanks. In July 1989, EPA constructed a fence to secure the site.
Entire Site: Following a remedial investigation and feasibility study to determine the nature and extent of the contamination and to evaluate remedial alternatives, EPA selected the remedy in the site’s September 1992 Record of Decision, or ROD. It included: (1) decontamination and demolition of the former manufacturing plant; (2) in-place stabilization of soils contaminated with PCBs and metals; and (3) extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater and reinjection of the treated water. EPA updated the site’s soil remedy to excavation with off-site treatment and disposal in September 1998. The goal of the soil remedy was re-examined and it was determined that the risks to human health and the environment could be significantly reduced by excavating the PCB contaminated soils and removing them from the site.
The design of the groundwater remedy took several years. The remedy includes the use of soil vapor extraction, a pump-and-treat system and natural attenuation. Following system construction in 2008, it started operating. The system’s operation is ongoing.