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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Solvey Specialty Polymers USA, L.L.C. in Thorofare, New Jersey

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

From 1990 to 1992, soil contamination was cleaned up via excavation and offsite disposal at a waste disposal facility, followed by backfilling of the excavated areas with clean soil.

In 2004, Solvay installed a soil cap at the dredge spoils area on the site’s northern section, which is located outside the manufacturing area. In 2005, Solvay replaced underground process piping with double walled piping to prevent leaks. In April of 2010, Solvay began operation of a groundwater pump and treat system to provide onsite treatment and hydraulic containment of the plume. The treated groundwater is reused in the manufacturing process.

Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC is currently investigating the groundwater contamination at the site to determine how far it may extend. The investigation needs to be completed to define the hydrogeology and groundwater contamination and is primarily focused off-site. An appropriate final remedy will be selected based on the contaminant concentration levels, the rate at which the contaminated groundwater is moving and the distance the plume of contaminated water has migrated.

Institutional controls (e.g., a Deed Notice for residual soil contamination and a Classification Exception Area for any remaining groundwater contamination) will be imposed at areas with residual contamination. A long-term groundwater monitoring system will be developed to ensure that the groundwater contamination continues to be contained.

Site Description

The site is located at 10 Leonard Lane, in Thorofare (West Deptford Township), New Jersey, in a mostly industrial setting surrounded by a rural residential area. Pennwalt began operations in the 1970s manufacturing fluorocarbons but the operations ceased in 1977. New operations began in 1985, manufacturing vinylidene fluoride monomers, fluoropolymers and fluorocarbons. 

The site was sold to Elf Atochem in 1989, subsequently to Ausimont USA, Inc. in 1990, and then to the Solvay Group in 2002. Currently, fluoropolymers, fluorocarbons and fluoroelastomers are manufactured. The operation generates hazardous wastes that are managed under a permit from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for on-site hazardous waste storage and incineration.

Contaminants at this Facility

Groundwater and soil contamination at the site resulted from plant operations and management of wastes. Key groundwater contaminants include 111, trichloroethane (and its degradation products, 1,1 dichloroethane,  1,1 dichlorethene), and carbon tetrachloride and its degradation product,  chloroform. Metals in groundwater include iron, manganese and aluminum. Soils contamination is below NJDEP direct contact standards for volatile organic compounds. Metals in soil include antimony and nickel. 

Site Responsibility at this Facility

Solvay operates storage tanks and an incinerator at its West Deptford, New Jersey facility to manage on-site hazardous wastes.  The facility is subject to the statutory and regulatory requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) of 1984.  The facility was issued the RCRA permit which consisted of the two components: pre-HSWA component issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in 1999; and HSWA component issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1989.  The HSWA component was to address site corrective action requirements, among others.

In 1980s and 1990s, the facility ownership was transferred which triggered site remediation under the State Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act (ECRA)/Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA).  Solvay is responsible for site remediation.  NJDEP is the lead in overseeing the site corrective action/remediation.