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Zschiegner Refining Company
Howell Township, New Jersey

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Site Description

The Zschiegner Refining Company Superfund site is located on six acres in Howell Township, New Jersey, surrounded by a rural residential area, as well as wetlands and streams. The Zschiegner company operated at the site from 1964 until 1992 as a precious metals recovery facility. On-site operations included the chemical stripping of precious metals from watch bands, film, and electrical components. In October 1992, the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration raided the facility based on suspicions of illegal drug manufacturing. Approximately 3,000 different chemicals (including peroxide, cyanide, caustics, and acids) were found improperly stored throughout the site. A study of the full nature and extent of contamination at the site determined the presence of organic and inorganic contamination in soil, sediments, surface water, and ground water, and inorganic contamination in the building on-site.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • An initial emergency action was completed in 1992 during which approximately 2,000 gallons of acidic solutions, 1,600 gallons of basic solutions, and 1,400 small containers of hazardous substances were transferred to secure containers and disposed of off-site.
  • In 2004, EPA decided to excavate (PDF) (530 K, 2 pp) and dispose of contaminated soil and replace it with clean soil; excavate and dispose of the contaminated sediment and restore the wetland area; demolish the on-site building to excavate the contaminated soil under it; and conduct ground water monitoring.

Current Funding Status

  • To date, EPA has obligated approximately $4.7 million to the site.
  • In September 2006, EPA allocated an additional $5.0 million to the site for new on-site soil and sediment construction work.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Zschiegner Refining Company Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 4 K) on the Region 2 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • During initial removal actions, approximately 2,000 gallons of acidic solutions, 1,600 gallons of basic solutions, and 1,400 small containers of hazardous substances were transferred to acceptable containers and disposed of off-site.

 

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