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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Hercules Incorporated in Burlington Township, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

Under a 1992 agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Hercules conducted three phases of investigations of the contamination at the site and an ecological evaluation. The company implemented a cleanup plan which included excavating some of the contaminated soils, stabilizing or consolidating some of the excavated soil on-site, disposing of the remaining soil off-site and capping areas of where consolidated and/or stabilized soils were placed.  Capping in place was also employed in some areas in lieu of removal, depending on the risk to ecological receptors.  A deed notice will be placed on the property restricting future uses of the site to industrial purposes only and requiring continued maintenance of the cap.

Groundwater is being monitored to ensure that contamination continues to naturally attenuate.  A Classification Exception Area (CEA), which acknowledges continued groundwater contamination but restricts the use of the groundwater as long as it remains contaminated, has also been established. 

Site Description

The 135-acre Hercules Burlington Plant (HBP) is located on Neck Road, next to the Delaware River about 1.5 miles north of Burlington City in New Jersey. Land use in the vicinity of the site is predominantly industrial, but also includes residential and undeveloped areas. 

Between the mid-1940 and 1993, HBP manufactured various products, including hard and liquid resins, a raw material for polyester fabrics, a herbicide and a detergent ingredient. HBP stored hazardous wastes from its production in a drum storage unit and in a waste storage tank, both of which are no longer operating. HBP closed the facility in 1993.

Contaminants at this Facility

Leaks from drainage ditches, which collected polluted runoff from process areas, contaminated adjacent soils with nickel and other metals. Leaks and spills in the areas where the hard and liquid resins were processed contaminated the soils underneath with metals, organic chemicals and asbestos.

Additionally, farming activities conducted prior to Hercules' operations are believed to have contaminated the groundwater underlying the site with arsenic and lead. There are other isolated areas in which the groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic chemicals. The contaminated groundwater has not spread beyond the Hercules site.

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.