April 2006

DEP puts New Jersey disposal operations on alert

Trenton, NJ— Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson ordered Ford Motor Company and its contractors to immediately remove concrete tainted with traces of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from seven New Jersey redevelopment sites.

“In no uncertain terms, we are holding Ford Motor Co. and its contractors fully accountable for illegally distributing and using PCB-contaminated concrete at these sites.” Commissioner Jackson said.

Though the DEP determined the concrete contains very low levels of PCB contamination, use of the material at redevelopment sites in Mercer, Middlesex and Ocean counties has generated considerable concern among residents.

“I have put all DEP inspectors on notice we are escalating surveillance at all New Jersey disposal and recycling operations — including unannounced inspections. If any violations are found, fines and penalties will be issued without hesitation,” Commissioner Jackson said.

The commissioner’s call to action came after municipal officials and community representatives raised questions about the concrete trucked to seven redevelopment sites from Ford’s now-defunct plant in Edison. Following the shutdown and sale of the facility, Ford hired contractors to remediate the property and prepare it for redevelopment by demolishing and removing buildings on the site, including concrete floor slabs.

In February 2004, Ford contracted with MIG Alberici Inc. of Detroit to perform the demolition. Alberici planned to reuse the concrete from the site for roads and other fill projects on the Ford property. In November 2004, Alberici obtained the DEP’s approval to use the concrete after testing for contamination and determining the material did not have detectable levels.

However, subsequent material sampling revealed PCB contamination ranging from undetectable to 2 ppm.

Under the DEP’s administrative order, Ford must submit a plan within seven days for complete removal and proper disposal of all contaminated concrete material transported to development sites across the state. Ford must remove all concrete material from each site within 30 days after the DEP approves each cleanup plan.


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