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The White Chemical Corporation site is a 4.4-acre vacant lot located at 660 Frelinghuysen Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. Historic industrial activities at the site included the manufacturing of a variety of acid chlorides and fire retardant compounds. The White Chemical Corporation (WCC) operated the facility from 1983 until July 1990. Facility violations led to numerous citations from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protect (NJDEP), and the mishandling of chemicals led to their release and contamination of the soil and groundwater at the site.  After site investigations, immediate removal actions were taken to protect human health and the environment.

In September 1970, Central Services Corporation (CSC) purchased the site property from the Union Carbide Corporation. It is believed that much of the now-demolished site infrastructure may date from the time of Union Carbide's ownership. CSC sold the property to the Lancaster Chemical Company, a division of the AZS Corporation, in August 1975.

The White Chemical Corporation (WCC) leased the site property in 1983 and moved its operations from Bayonne, New Jersey, to Newark, New Jersey. WCC produced three primary groups of chemical products: acid chlorides, brominated organics (both aliphatic and aromatic) and mineral acids, most notably hydriodic acid. The finished products, mostly solids and powders, were generally formulated in small batches following customer specifications.

During an initial investigation, EPA found over 10,000 55-gallon drums and other containers of
hazardous substances improperly stored throughout the site. Drums and other containers were found in various stages of deterioration, fuming or leaking their contents onto the soil. Other containers found included 150 gas cylinders, 126 storage tanks, vats and process reactors, hundreds of fiberpack drums, glass and plastic bottles, carboys and boxes. An on-site laboratory contained about 12,000 improperly stored, laboratory-size containers.

After immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, and site investigations, EPA placed the Site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in September 1991.

The Remedial Design for the groundwater cleanup, the last operable unit that remains for the Site, was completed in September of 2016, with remedial action anticipated to commence pending availability of federal funding.


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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Immediate Actions: A removal action to stabilize the site included the removal of more than 1,000 drums by NJDEP and EPA from May 1990 to October 1992.

On-site Hazardous Materials and Containers: EPA selected a remedy for the site’s surface contamination in the site’s September 1991 Record of Decision, or ROD. It included the removal of tanks, drums, vats, laboratory-size containers and other vessels. Cleanup took place from September 1991 to April 1993.

Buildings, Above Ground Storage Tanks (ASTs) and Soils: After a remedial investigation to determine the nature and extent of the contamination, and an evaluation of remedial alternatives, EPA selected a remedy for site buildings, ASTs and soils in the September 2005 Record of Decision. The selected remedy included building demolition and off-site disposal, and excavation and disposal of about 21,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils. Building demolition finished in the summer of 2007. Soil cleanup took place from September 2008 to April 2009. Clean fill was placed in the excavation areas and the site was regraded. Stone was then placed over the entire site to aid site drainage and prevent soil erosion.

Groundwater:  The September 2012 ROD for groundwater determined that VOC contaminated groundwater was present throughout the entire WCC property, as well as off-property.  The RD activities were completed in September of 2016. Remedial action activities will include the injection of the selected amendment (bioremediation) of the site-related plume, as well as continued groundwater monitoring.  Additionally, since there are currently no structures remaining on the former WCC property, EPA initiated a vapor intrusion (VI) investigation on the nearest, off-property structure.  A 2016 VI investigation, which included sub-slab and indoor-air sampling activities, determined that there are no indoor-air impacts to the off-property structures.  EPA may elect to continue VI sampling activities to monitor VI concerns in the future.  

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The Site is being addressed in three Operable Units (OUs). OU-1 addressed the on-site hazardous materials and containers. OU-2 addressed the former on-site buildings and structures, as well as several above-ground storage tanks (ASTs), and included the excavation and disposal of approximately 21,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. OU-3, the final operable unit for the site, addresses the contaminated groundwater.

The OU-3 Record of Decision selected bio-remediation of the impacted groundwater, which is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The OU3 groundwater  Remedial Design (RD) activities were initiated in 2012 and completed in September of 2016.  The RD activities included a Pilot Study, in which two amendments (lactate vs. EHCTM, and injection methods (hydraulic vs. pneumatic) were tested in four large areas on the property.  Once remedial action activities commence, EPA anticipates that there may be several rounds of injections, over the course of years (to be determined) to effectively treat the contaminated groundwater.  EPA also anticipates that there will be continued monitoring of the groundwater monitoring well network to track and monitor the effectiveness and the groundwater conditions. 

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