Superfund Site Profile


The Wolff-Alport Chemical Company Superfund site is located at 1125 to 1139 Irving Avenue and 1514 Cooper Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens, New York on the border with Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. This nearly triangular area covers approximately 0.75 acres and is bound by Irving Avenue to the southwest, Cooper Avenue to the northwest, and a former cabinet manufacturing facility to the east. At present, the property is covered, primarily, with contiguous structures, except for a former rail spur along its edge, which is an unpaved area where tracks are no longer present and is currently used for automobile storage. The on-site buildings contain a delicatessen/grocery, office space, residential apartments, several auto repair shops, and warehousing space.

The Wolff-Alport Chemical Company operated at the Site from the early 1920s until 1954, importing monazite sand from the Belgian Congo and extracting rare earth metals from the material. Monazite contains 6-8% or more of thorium. Until 1947, the Wolff-Alport Chemical Company disposed of the thorium waste from monazite sand processing in the sewer and possibly by burial on the property. Recent investigations have indicated that residual contamination still exists on-site and in or around the sewer lines downstream of the facility.