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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Inmont Corporation in Hawthorne, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

Numerous remedial investigation and actions were performed from 1985 to 2002 resulting in all Areas of Concerns (AOCs) receiving no further action determinations with the exception of the Historical Fill Area. In addition, Inmont conducted an extensive hydrogeologic investigation, which noted that groundwater contamination is concentrated in the southern portion of the property (near the Passaic River). A groundwater extraction system has been in operation since June 1998 to control off-site migration of shallow groundwater to the Passaic River and remove contaminant mass.  Once the extracted groundwater is treated to acceptable levels, it is put back into the ground on-site. 

Inmont will continue to operate and maintain the groundwater treatment system. Over time, this system is expected to totally capture the contaminant plume in shallow groundwater. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) will periodically evaluate the system's performance and determine what, if any, additional modifications or work is necessary.

Moreover, due to the depth of impacts observed in deep bedrocks wells, investigation and delineation of contaminant concentrations in the deep bedrock unit off-site is continuing to determine the extent of contamination and whether additional remediation measures are needed to contain the migration of contaminated groundwater. According to an April 2009 NJDEP correspondence, results of the investigation will be reported in September 2009.  Furthermore, Inmont is expected to complete all of the soil excavation activities in the Historical Fill Area during June 2009.

Inmont also filed a deed notice restricting usage for the northern portion of the site, where a 10 to13 feet thick cap of clean backfill and soils prevents direct contact with the contaminants. Monitoring of the groundwater in this area shows that it is not being affected by the contaminants in the soil.

Site Description

The Inmont Corporation Hawthorne plant is a former manufacturing site located on approximately 16 acres in southeastern Passaic County, New Jersey. The facility is bordered by industrial properties and the Passaic River flows easterly along the southern boundary of the site. 

In 1946, Inmont Corporation (a division of United Technologies Corporation [UTC]) developed manufacturing operations consisting of production of dyestuffs, dyestuff intermediates, pigment intermediates, specialty polymers and chemicals. Organic chemical production was discontinued in 1967 and dyestuff production ceased in 1974. After 1974, operations consisted of manufacturing of pigments, aqueous dispersions, and flush bases. 

In 1985, Inmont sold the property to BASF, which ceased operation at the site in May 1986.  In preparation for future sale of the property, BASF completed improvement activities that included the removal of former building slabs, foundations and associated utilities; and environmental suitability studies that included soil boring investigations. 

Contaminant concentrations were detected above NJ soil cleanup criteria during these activities, which required remediation. Remedial actions associated with remaining impacted soil areas and site-wide groundwater contamination is currently ongoing by Inmont.

Contaminants at this Facility

Chemical spills and leaks from storage tanks, transformers, drainage ditches, buried drums and pipes associated with the dye manufacturing contaminated the soil and groundwater. Soils contaminated with various organic chemicals remain in the Historical Fill Area along the eastern portion of the property. Groundwater at the site has been impacted with the semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) nitrobenzene and aniline.  Lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as toluene and xylene, were also detected in groundwater at the site.  Chlorinated solvents remain in the southern portion of the property. Nitrobenzene and aniline were the main components of the dye manufacturing process. 

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.