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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: ATOFINA Chemicals Incorporated in Holmdel, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

The tanks from the tank area were removed and the contaminated soil was excavated and disposed of the site. Further investigation revealed that the deeper soil located under a building associated with the former tank area is contaminated with volatile organics. This soil contamination is a potential source for groundwater contamination. The groundwater at the firing range area was monitored with the intention of demonstrating natural attenuation. However, it was found that the contamination in the groundwater was not decreasing.

ATOFINA will remediate the deeper soil related to the underground storage tank area after the demolition of the building. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is requesting further characterization of the groundwater contamination at the firing range and development of a remediation plan. NJDEP is also requesting that the two Classification Exception Area (CEA) plans be resubmitted, which will define the areas where groundwater is contaminated above standards and where groundwater use is restricted.

Site Description

ATOFINA Chemicals, Inc., formerly known as Elf Atochem, is a 112-acre site located on 100 South Street, in an area of Holmdel Township, New Jersey that is residential and commercial. The site was a farmland until 1959 when Bendix Aviation Corporation purchased the property for the manufacture of semi-conductors.

Pennwalt Corp. purchased the site in 1970 and manufactured dental equipment from 1971 to 1983, when the site shut down. In 1990, Pennwalt Corporation became Elf Atochem North America. In June 2000, Elf Atochem North America became ATOFINA Chemicals. The facility is being remediated under New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Memorandum of Agreement, which is a voluntary cleanup agreement between NJDEP and the facility. 

Contaminants at this Facility

The groundwater is contaminated with tetrachloroethene (PCE). Two sources are responsible for the contamination: a former leaking underground storage tank area that contained waste solvents and a firing range area, which was used as a dump site from 1960 to 1970. The firing range consisted of a primary lagoon, which received liquid waste and drums, and a circular lagoon, which received drums and oil-coated scrap. The PCE contamination of the groundwater has not decreased over time. The groundwater is limited to the site, and has not yet reached on-site surface water.

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.