The 26-acre Cornell Dubilier Superfund Site in South Plainfield, New Jersey, is one of the most toxics sites in Middlesex County. In fact, the contamination from extremely toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) capacitors that were once manufactured on this site, has migrated into the Bound Brook, causing a serious “Do Not Eat Anything” advisory for all species of fish and shellfish in this waterway. Families still fish and children still play and fish connecting waterways like Spring Lake and New Market Pond.
In addition, cancer-causing trichloroethylene (TCE) has migrated into the groundwater that flows under hundreds of homes and contaminated 825 acres surrounding the site. Due to widespread contamination, residential wells in the area were closed and residents hooked up to a city water supply. This groundwater contamination is also seeping into the Bound Brook, but the extent is still undetermined.
USEPA added the site to the Superfund National Priorities List in 1998 but little movement has been made since. The site may look better, with the buildings torn down and the soil partially cleaned and capped, but time keeps ticking and because of inaction the situation has become more dangerous. Gases leak into homes. Contaminants leach into the drinking water. Volatile organic compounds vaporize and accumulate in closed areas. This is not something to be trifled with.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) just released their “plan” for cleaning up the 825-acre toxic groundwater plume. Can you believe they are choosing to only “monitor” the contamination instead of proposing a real cleanup remedy that would remove the contamination from under these homes? They have no intent of actually treating this toxic mess!
At a recent public meeting, they released their plan to the local community. The room was filled with citizens demanding the USEPA do a full cleanup of the site and to do it right. USEPA probably hoped for sparse attendance because what they ultimately announced was best kept from the families of South Plainfield, Edison and Piscataway for years. It’s your turn to stand up for these residents, and tell USEPA to select a remedy that will protect human health and the environment.
There’s still a chance that USEPA can select a more effective remedy if they receive enough public comments demanding a stronger cleanup – but only until August 20th. Please sign this petition and tell the USEPA that simply monitoring groundwater contamination is not enough for the citizens of South Plainfield, Edison, and Piscataway. Demand that alternative plans that remove volatile organic chemicals and other contaminants without polluting the groundwater are possible and must be immediately implemented! Tell USEPA to grant an extension on the comment period of 60 days so the extent of the Bound Brook contamination can be incorporated into the cleanup plan!
Please share this petition with your friends, family, Facebook, Twitter and anyone who you think will help these suffering residents! We don’t have much time left! Thank you for taking action to protect the families of South Plainfield, Edison, and Piscataway!
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) selected remedy to indefinitely monitor the toxic groundwater is absolutely unacceptable. The groundwater contains cancer-causing chemicals such as Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), trichloroethylene (TCE) and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cDCE), which are among the 26 chemicals of concern that originate from this site.
In addition, the contaminated groundwater is seeping into the Bound Brook, which travels through South Plainfield and eventually empties into the Raritan River. Because of the high levels of PCBs in the Bound Brook, there is a “Do Not Eat Anything” advisory for all species of fish and shellfish, yet families and children are still exposed to the chemicals from playing and fishing at derbies at New Market Pond. USEPA announced at the August 7, 2012 public meeting that the extent of this seep from the groundwater into the Bound Brook is still undetermined. In order to have the most effective and efficient cleanup plan, this extent of contamination MUST be determined PRIOR to selecting an appropriate remedy for OU3. For this reason, the comment period must be extended for a minimum of 60 days until this data is collected and available for public review.
Also, USEPA must reconsider the decision to simply monitor the groundwater in the 825-acre plume area. Currently, the groundwater drawn from the community wells does not meet New Jersey Drinking Water Standards and requires treatment to remove TCE. There also may be residential drinking wells that USEPA has not identified and are potential creating an exposure route that is unsafe.
USEPA’s claim that the contamination resides within the fractured, sedimentary bedrock and there is no practical means to remove it is unacceptable. Many assumptions were made in this study including that the bedrock matrix was uniform and consistent through the entire contaminated area and that the mass of contaminants, chemicals like TCE, will slowly leach out forever. This is not a firm technical basis and when it comes to matters dealing with health and safety, assumptions are not acceptable. USEPA must investigate alternative methods to remove the sources of contamination, in addition to treating the groundwater to remove the high levels of TCE and PCBs.
Once again, I urge you to extend the public comment period for a minimum of 60 days. There are several outstanding issues and concerns that must be addressed before USEPA uses their best judgment to select an appropriate remedy for the CDE Superfund Site OU3. Inaction is not acceptable when thousands of peoples’ health and lives are at stake.
Thank you in advance for taking immediate action to protect the citizens of South Plainfield, Edison, and Piscataway.