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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: El Paso Energy Corporation Polymers Incorporated in Flemington, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

EPA issued a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit that required investigation and cleanup of the site and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is also requiring cleanup of the site under its property transfer program. Sludges within the three lagoons and two drying basins were excavated and disposed of in an approved off-site landfill, although small amounts of contamination remain. They were filled in with clean soil. Cleanups of the other units at the site have also had been completed, however, the groundwater beneath the facility remains contaminated. NJDEP has issued a deed notice to restrict uses of the property to only those that would be appropriate based on any threat from the residual contamination.

In 1987, Tenneco installed a system to pump contaminated groundwater and then treat it. The system was subsequently expanded and upgraded in 1997 and 2004. After treatment the pumped groundwater is discharged to the local wastewater treatment plant. To increase the effectiveness of the groundwater treatment system, a chemical solution is being injected into the two areas from which the groundwater is being pumped. The solution, an oxidizing agent, is injected to physically flush out the contamination as well as to chemically break it down.

Since the operation of the site-wide pump and treat system started 20 years ago, the groundwater contamination at the site appears to have significantly stabilized both in terms of the overall contaminant concentration levels and areal extent. Furthermore, the groundwater data indicates that the on-site recovery system is effectively controlling the migration of contaminated groundwater.     

The groundwater pumping system and the chemical treatment will continue in conjunction with the quarterly site-wide groundwater monitoring program to ensure and confirm that contaminated groundwater is under control. NJDEP will also restrict the use of the groundwater for as long as it remains contaminated. 

Site Description

The El Paso Energy Corporation Polymers, Inc. (EPEC Polymers, Inc.), formerly known as Tenneco Polymers, Inc., is located at 45 River Road, at the juncture of the South Branch of the Raritan River and Bushkill Brook in Flemington/Raritan Townships, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Tenneco Polymers manufactured polyvinyl chloride powder resin from the mid-1960s until production ceased in November 1985. Research and development activities continued at the site until May 1986. In 1994, the facility property was sold to Flemington Industrial Park, L.L.C. In 1997, Tenneco Inc. merged with El Paso Energy Corporation (EPEC) and the former Tenneco subsidiaries became subsidiaries of EPEC. As a result of the merger, Tenneco Polymers, Inc. is now known as EPEC Polymers, Inc. 

Contaminants at this Facility

The soil at the site is contaminated with barium. Groundwater has been impacted primarily with vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene (TCE). The site's historical manufacturing operation and waste management were the sources of the contamination.

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.