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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Lenox China Incorporated in Pomona, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

All the units that contributed to soil and/or groundwater contamination have been addressed at Lenox. Waste in the glaze basin was excavated; the basin itself was filled with clean dirt and paved with asphalt. Waste in the slip basin was treated to make it less toxic. A liner was installed under the unit to prevent further releases and it was covered with grass. Both basins are being monitored to assure that no further releases occur. The waste pile and the sludge disposal area were capped and the area between Aloe Street and Monitoring Well #13 was fenced to restrict access. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has imposed a deed notice to restrict any uses of the property that may be a threat to people.

In 1991, Lenox installed a system to pump contaminated groundwater and to treat it. After the groundwater is pumped, it is treated in a tank with granular activated carbon, and then returned to the ground. NJDEP has imposed restrictions on the use of groundwater for as long as it remains contaminated. The site-wide quarterly groundwater monitoring program has been showing that the pump and treat system has been controlling the flow of contaminated groundwater, except for a plume of trichloroethylene (TCE) to the south and east of the site (White Horse Pike).

Lenox will continue to maintain the caps and fencing. Lenox has completed additional investigations and is designing additional remedial actions to address the exceedances in the Whitehorse Pike sentinel wells. Also, the facility has received approval from NJDEP to extend the existing groundwater remediation system to reestablish control of the plume, but is awaiting approval from the New Jersey Wetlands Mitigation Council and the Pinelands Commission before it can start construction.

Site Description

Lenox China Inc. is a 56-acre site in a rural area located on Tilton Road on the outskirts of the Town of Pomona in southeastern New Jersey. The facility manufactures china giftware and dinnerware. The manufacturing process includes the progressive dewatering of clay solution to form ceramic pieces. The pieces are then fired in a kiln, coated with a non-leaded glaze mixture (leaded glaze is no longer used) and then re-fired. Decorations are applied using decals, precious-metal paints and mechanical etching prior to the final firing. The by-products of the process includes clay solution waste and glaze waste (the company no longer uses "fritted" lead compound that is encased in glass/silica). Prior etching operations used trichloroethylene (TCE) and produced waste solvent sludge.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit that requires continued maintenance and monitoring of old closed units in which waste remains. EPA issued a RCRA permit and NJDEP signed a voluntary agreement with Lenox, both of which require cleanup of the site.

Contaminants at this Facility

Soil at the site is contaminated with lead and zinc. The groundwater is contaminated with trichloroethylene, lead and zinc. Groundwater containing trichloroethylene (TCE) has migrated off the property. The sources of the contamination were the glaze basin, the slip basin (where wastewater from the clay-dewatering was received), the waste pile, the sludge disposal area, the area between Aloe Street and Monitoring Well #13, the degreaser sludge pit, and the drum storage area.

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.