Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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Cleanup Activities

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The CPS/Madison Industries site includes two manufacturing facilities located on a 35-acre tract of land in Middlesex, New Jersey. The CPS Chemical plant, which was acquired by Ciba in 1998 and operated until 2001, processed, treated, and stored organic chemicals used in the production of water treatment agents, lubricants, oil field chemicals, and anti-corrosive agents. In 2009, BASF acquired the property from Ciba and has taken over responsibility for the investigation and clean-up of the site. Madison Industries and a related business, Old Bridge Chemical, are still in operation. Madison Industries produces zinc compounds for fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and food additives, and Old Bridge Chemical produces copper compounds used in fertilizers, and food additives. Since 1967, site operators improperly handled and disposed of hazardous substances, including discharges into the public sewer system, resulting in soil and groundwater contamination. The municipal wellfield for the city of Perth Amboy is downgradient of the site, and thirty-two municipal wells have been closed due to contamination attributed to the site. Prickett's Brook and Prickett’s Pond, are also downgradient of the site, and may have been contaminated by the site; neither are used for recreation or as a drinking water source. Approximately 100 residences are within one mile of the site.


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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

In 1991 NJDEP directed both CPS and Madison to install interim groundwater recovery systems to contain the spread of groundwater contamination and protect the Perth Amboy well field which provides a public drinking water supply. A recovery well system operated by Madison Industries is currently pumping and treating groundwater at a rate of approximately 80 gallons per minute and a CPS system is currently withdrawing and treating about 30 gallons per minute. These interim measures, along with site security measures, will be required until comprehensive site remedies are selected and implemented.  In addition, the municipal well field has added an air stripper to protect against volatile organic compounds. 

The site is being addressed in two stages: interim actions and a long-term remedial phase focused on cleanup of the entire site.

Interim Actions: Groundwater pump-and-treat systems were installed in 1991 to prevent contamination of the nearby Perth Amboy well field. The systems remain in operation. In 1994, Perth Amboy, with funding from CPS Chemical and Madison Industries, modified its well field to add water treatment. Because of potential exposure risk to recreational use of Prickett’s Pond and Prickett’s Brook, fencing and no trespassing signs have been maintained to limit the potential for exposure.

Long-term Cleanup: Beginning in the 1990s, pursuant to state court orders, remedial investigations took place to determine the nature and extent of the contamination. These investigations have identified a number of on-site source areas, and Madison Industries and CPS took a number of on-site response actions to address these sources. In 2010, the CPS property was taken over by BASF, which is now responsible for the investigations and operation of the interim groundwater pump-and-treat system.

EPA took over responsibility for the remedial investigations and cleanup of the site under Superfund, and signed orders with the site owners in 2005(CPS) and 2015 (Madison). 



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What Is the Current Site Status?


The investigation and a feasibility study for site-wide groundwater, and CPS source area, was completed in 2018. A proposed plan, which will identify EPA's perferred remedy, and solicit public comment, is scheduled for April 2019.  It is anticipated that EPA will formalize its remedy selection for the groundwater and CPS source area in a Record of Decision in 2019. 

The Madison source area remedial investigation field work was initiated in early fall 2015. 

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