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Site: Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc., NJ

Site History: Chronic releases of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances began as early as 1936.

Location: The Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc. Site is located in South Plainfield, Middlesex County, New Jersey and includes a 26-acre parcel, formerly used for manufacturing, as well as the Bound Brook and portions of its associated wetlands and floodplains.


Site Status: Remedial activities at the former facility, including contaminated soils and buildings and the excavation of the "capacitor disposal area”, are complete. Portions of the remedy to address contaminated soils at residential, municipal, and commercial properties in the vicinity of the former facility are complete. A proposed plan has been issued for the remediation of Bound Brook, which includes dredging PCB-contaminated sediment, excavating PCB-contaminated floodplain soil, excavating buried capacitors adjacent to the facility, relocating a waterline that crosses the former facility, and capturing groundwater that discharges into Bound Brook; the public comment period for this portion of the site closed in December 2014 and a decision is pending.

Overview: Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc., manufactured electronic parts and components, including capacitors, from 1936 to 1962 and tested transformer oils for an unknown period of time on a 26-acre property. An unnamed stream traverses the southeast corner of the property and then flows northwest approximately half a mile to Bound Brook. Bound Brook discharges to the lower Raritan River approximately six miles downstream. From the confluence with Bound Brook, the Raritan River flows approximately 12 miles southeast to discharge into Raritan Bay. The contaminants of most concern to NOAA at the site are PCBs and metals although elevated concentrations of poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), DDT, dioxins, and furans have also been found.

The site was placed on the National Priorities List in July 1998. The Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study was initiated in 2000. EPA's investigations included sampling on-site soil and buildings, soil from adjacent residential properties, groundwater, sediments, surface water, and fish in the Bound Brook corridor. The EPA separated the site into four Operable Units (OUs): OU1 includes the contaminated soils at residential, municipal, and commercial properties in the vicinity of the former facility, OU2 includes the 26-acre former facility and associated contaminated soils and buildings, OU3 includes the contaminated groundwater, and OU4 includes the contaminated sediments of the Bound Brook corridor. A record of decision (ROD) was issued for OU1 in September 2003 and portions of this remedy have been completed. A ROD for OU2 was issued in September 2004 and the first phases of this remedy, dismantling the buildings and excavating the "capacitor disposal area" were completed in May and June 2008, respectively.

On-site treatment of contaminated soils by low temperature thermal desorption began in November 2009. The site received $30 million in American Resource and Recovery Act (ARRA) funding in fiscal year 2009 which was used to accelerate the cleanup of the contaminated soil and debris. The ROD for OU3 was issued in 2012; the decision on groundwater discharging to Bound Brook was deferred to OU4. The proposed plan for OU4 was issued in September 2014.

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