An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Schering Corporation in Union, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

Schering has completed several investigations to provide data for cleanup decisions. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued Schering a permit for a groundwater extraction system and groundwater monitoring in 1991. To meet the requirements of this permit, Schering installed a pump and treat system in 1994.

A 1995 NJDEP consent order requiring the continued operation of the groundwater control system replaced the permit. Due to concerns with concentration levels of on- and off-site contaminants, NJDEP and EPA asked for additional investigations to further delineate the contaminant plumes. Schering implemented these investigations and submitted the results in January 2000.

Schering continues to contain the groundwater plume with the extensive groundwater extraction system while reviewing and testing new remedial technologies to reduce site groundwater contamination. The company recently completed a pilot test for in-situ biosparging and dual-phase extraction and submitted the Extended Study Pilot Report to the NJDEP for review and approval.

Site Description

Schering Corporation is located at 1011 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey. Schering Corporation owns this facility, which conducts research and development along with some manufacturing of new pharmaceutical product lines. Support services include warehousing, maintenance and administration. Bordering the Elizabeth River, the facility encompasses 60 acres and 25 buildings with a combined floor space of more than 1.1 million square feet at 1011 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey.

Schering began production here in 1938, expanding throughout the years. The facility generates hazardous wastes, which are predominantly by-products of fermentation, laboratory, chemical synthesis and purification operations. Schering stores these wastes in two containerized hazardous waste storage sheds and a waste solvent blending tank, pursuant to their Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

Contaminants at this Facility

In 1984, Schering notified the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) that groundwater samples from its production well #1 revealed the presence of high concentrations of volatile organics. The primary contaminants exceeding standards are volatile organics such as benzene, toluene and methylene chloride.

Contamination at the site is attributed to poor waste management practices. Contents of drums were spilled in unpaved drum yards and the unloading area (former railroad siding), wastes dumped in four surface impoundments, and leaks discovered from the industrial sewage line and facility storage tanks. Data also indicates the presence of similar contamination off-site, adjacent to the facility.

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.