WITCO CHEMICAL CORP. (OAKLAND PLANT)
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The Witco Chemical Corporation (Witco) site is located in Oakland, New Jersey. Witco operated a technical research facility for the development of specialty chemicals at this 9-acre area. From 1966 through 1984, the company neutralized laboratory wastewater in an underground tank and then discharged it into a network of six unlined subsurface seepage pits. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) inspected the operation in 1982. Petroleum hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in soil and groundwater samples. Immediate actions to protect human health and the environment eliminated the threat of exposure to contamination at the site. .
EPA’s Involvement at the Site
The site has been addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial phase focused on cleanup of the entire site.
Immediate Actions: Under a 1982 directive from NJDEP, Witco began cleanup operations. The company installed a 6,000-gallon fiberglass tank to receive laboratory waste. This completely eliminated any subsurface discharges by early 1984. A separate system for discharging uncontaminated cooling waters into a nearby lake has been established under a state environmental permit. In 1987, Witco started its own independent soil cleanup. Workers removed remaining sludge, contaminated soil and various seepage pit components. They backfilled and closed the excavation area in 1988.
Long-term Cleanup: To ensure that Witco's cleanup met safety standards, EPA ordered the company to conduct groundwater and soil investigations to determine the nature and extent of any remaining contamination present on site. Witco completed the investigation in mid-1992. Based on the results of the investigations, EPA determined that no further cleanup actions were needed at the site.
EPA took the site off the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in November 1993.