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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Simmonds Precision Company - Operative Industries in Chester Township, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

Hercules initiated preliminary assessment (PA) and remedial investigation (RI) activities in 1989 that identified 12 areas of concern (AOCs) that warranted remedial action. In 2012, additional investigations were performed for soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment. Additionally, AOC boundaries were consolidated and renamed to five AOCs.

As a precaution, potable wells within a half-mile radius of the site were sampled and only one well had confirmed impacts of volatile organic compound contamination. The impacted residents were provided with appropriate water treatment for their water supply.

For areas with soil or sediment containing contamination in excess of the applicable NJDEP soil cleanup standards, some areas were capped and land use was restricted. Some areas with contaminated soils were excavated for off-site disposal. Another area was excavated and the soil was treated to remove the organic contaminants before being redeposited.

Groundwater is being addressed through the installation of a system to pump out the contaminated groundwater. The groundwater is then sent through a carbon filter and discharged to Oakdale Creek. However, this is not effectively controlling the off-site migration of contaminated groundwater, and additional remedies for groundwater will be considered following implementation of the revised Remedial Investigation Workplan.

Currently, a supplemental remedial investigation work plan (SRIWP) is underway for the entire site to fully define the extent of VOCs in groundwater, soil and further assessing water and sediment quality on and adjacent to the site.

Upon completion of the SRIWP, Simmonds will develop and implement an appropriate final remedy for the site-wide groundwater contamination and address the remaining of site-related constituents in soil, sediment and surface water.  In addition, land use and groundwater use at the site and surrounding area will be restricted where contamination exceeds residential standards.

Site Description

The former Simmonds Precision site is located on a 15.2 acre located on Oakdale Road in Chester Township, New Jersey. The site is bound to the north by the Black River Wildlife Management Area, freshwater wetlands, and the Lamington River (also known as the Black River); to the east by residential properties and undeveloped land; to the west/southwest by Hillside Road, residential properties and a tavern (Bernie’s Tavern); and to the south by freshwater wetlands, residential properties, and undeveloped land. Oakdale Road bisects the center of the site. The site is generally flat and topography trends in the direction of the Lamington River. Oakdale Creek is also located along the eastern property boundary. 

Previous operations at the site consisted of braiding, molding, wire cutting, machining, metal finishing, and degreasing activities associated with the manufacturing of various electrical wiring harnesses and conduit system products for the aerospace industry.

Wastewater generated in the metal finishing operations was discharged directly to the swamp and wetlands located north of the site from 1946 until 1972. In 1972, an on-site percolation lagoon was constructed to contain the wastewater. Wastes were discharged to the lagoon until 1982, at which time electroplating operations were discontinued at the site. Subsequently, the lagoon was closed under New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) oversight. All operations at the site were ceased in 1994.

Contaminants at this Facility

The potential risks associated with this site are contaminated soil, sediments, groundwater, and surface water. The specific contaminants at the site include volatile organic constituents (including tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, and dichloroethene) in the soil, groundwater and surface water, and some metals (lead and copper) in the sediments and soil.

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.