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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Arsynco Incorporated in Carlstadt, New Jersey

On this page:

  • Cleanup Status
  • Site Description
  • Contaminants at this Facility
  • Site Responsibility

Cleanup Status

Arsynco submitted a Part A on November 1980. The facility is being cleaned up under the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Property Transfer Program. Arsynco has decommissioned the facility and has conducted various investigations at the site. An evaluation of remedial alternatives to address site contamination and a cleanup proposal was submitted and approved. For contaminated soil, a combination of excavation and off-site disposal, capping/containment, on-site consolidation into a designated area of the site under an existing approval granted by EPA in accordance with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations, and both in-situ and ex-situ treatment via air sparging and soil vapor extraction were selected for remedies. As for groundwater the selected remedy consisted of, air sparging and vapor extraction, enhanced bioremediation and monitored natural attenuation (for shallow groundwater) and pump and treat and monitored natural attenuation (for deep groundwater).

As of today, the contaminated soil remediation work at the site is complete.

-TSCA soils with PCBs equal to or greater than 500 ppm have been properly disposed off-site, and all TSCA soils and debris for off-site disposal have been properly loaded-out and transported to Heritage.

-Tract 2 (wetlands) remediation work was completed, and Tract 2 has been replanted as wetlands per our permits.

-Remediation of the southern drainage ditch was completed, and the ditch has been lined with suitable subsurface clean fill and the concrete cloth product.

-The riparian area (50-foot buffer along length of southern ditch) has also been remediated, the 2-foot clean soil and topsoil cap installed, and this area was replanted per permits from NJDEP.

-Remediation of the shallow VOC-impacted soils via the AS/SVE system has been completed.  This was done by a combination of in-situ treatment with the AS/SVE system and ex-situ treatment of VOC-impacted soils that were excavated and treated with the AS/SVE system in aboveground sparge piles.  Appropriate post-remediation verification soil samples were collected (post-excavation, post-sparge pile treatment, and from areas that were treated in-situ), and no further remediation of the VOC-impacted soils is necessary.  Remediation with the AS/SVE is complete.

- Following completion of the remediation of VOC impacted soils with the AS/SVE system, shallow groundwater was treated with an application of an enhanced bioremediation product designed to help accelerate the biodegradation of residual levels of VOCs that might remain in shallow groundwater throughout the remediated areas.  This active treatment was done under a Permit-By-Rule (PBR) that was obtained from NJDEP.  Application of the active treatment product was completed in May 2018, and Arsynco collected the three (3) post-treatment groundwater samples required under the PBR (1 month, 4 months and 7 months after treatment product application).  Arsynco is currently assessing that data to ensure that shallow groundwater active remediation efforts are complete and to assess the requirements for longer-term MNA.

-TSCA soils (PCBs between 50 and 499 ppm) have been consolidated into the Consolidated Material TSCA Disposal Area (which fully covers the Former On-Site Pond TSCA Disposal Area), the area was graded and shaped, including the buffer/cushion layer of soil below the geomembrane, and the geomembrane liner (a 60 mil thick LLDPE liner) was installed and seams tested.  The LLDPE liner was sandwiched between two (2) layers of a heavy duty 24 oz. non-woven geofabric.  Following installation and testing of the LLDPE liner, the perimeter earthen berms were constructed around the TSCA disposal areas, and the DGA gravel layers were installed on top of the fabric on the surface of the cap area.  The east side of the perimeter berm that surrounds the TSCA disposal areas was faced with riprap, and the remaining sides and tops of the berm were planted/seeded.  The shallow/deep monitoring well clusters were installed in late November 2018 at the locations approved by EPA and NJDEP (10 wells total - 2 clusters upgradient on west side of TSCA disposal areas and 3 clusters downgradient on east side of TSCA disposal areas).  Groundwater samples were collected from these well clusters in January 2019 and were analyzed for PCBs in accordance with the EPA approval.  No PCBs were detected at levels above the NJDEPS” Groundwater Quality Standards in any of the 10 shallow/deep wells installed around the TSCA disposal areas

-Construction of the 2-foot clean soil cap on the main areas of Tract 1 is also mostly complete.  Currently, the only areas on Tract 1 that remains to be capped are the areas where the underground utility lines (natural gas, electric, water, sanitary sewer, communication) will be needed to connect from the area of 13th Street to the east to the location of the deep groundwater pump and treat system. 

-The deep groundwater pump and treat system has been installed at the site, and the proposed five (5) site wells have been connected to the system.  Currently, Arsynco was awaiting permits from NJSEA and the Borough of Carlstadt to install and connect the required utilities to the groundwater treatment system and also to install the property perimeter fencing required by the EPA TSCA approval.  Once the fencing is installed, the PCB signs required by the TSCA Approval will also be installed.  However, due to the Aceto Corporation and several of its subsidiaries, including Arsynco, Inc., filling for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on February 19, 2019, all the remediation work at the Arsynco site has been stopped.

Site Description

The Arsynco facility is located in a heavy industrial and commercial area at the western boundary of the Hackensack Meadowlands tidal marsh area, Foot of 13th Street in Carlstadt, Bergen County, New Jersey. The facility consisted of several manufacturing/storage buildings and two ponds situated on approximately 12.3 acres of industrial zoned land that is divided into two (2) adjacent tracts land. The main portion of the site, known as Tract 1, consists of approximately 9.5 acres of land, and formerly contained all production operation buildings.  Tract 2 of the property is located to the east of Tract 1 and consists of approximately 2.8 acres of low lying, undeveloped, marshy land. 

From the early 1900s to 1969, the site was used for a variety of chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing operations. Arsynco manufactured specialty organic chemicals and pharmaceutical intermediates, propylene imine and derivatives, hair dyes, silicone intermediates, a quaternary ammonium salt, propiophenone, and isobutyrophenone at this property from 1969 to September 1993, when all operations at the site ceased. Following cessation of operation, all the buildings on the site were demolished and the property has remained vacant and unused.  Currently, this site is undergoing remediation. 

Contaminants at this Facility

Soil and groundwater at the Arsynco site are contaminated due to former site operations (spills, releases and discharges); the disposal of process waste on-site; and the presence of poor-quality, historic fill on the site. Groundwater contamination at the site is also affected by regional groundwater quality and potential upgradient sources.

The contaminants associated with the soil at the site are:

  • volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), including benzene, xylene, toluene;
  • semi-volatile organic chemicals (SVOCs), including benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene;
  • metals, including lead; and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The contaminants associated with the groundwater at the site are:

  • VOCs, including 1,1-dichloroethane, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes;
  • inorganics, including lead and arsenic. 

Site Responsibility at this Facility

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 2.