Edison Wetlands Announces Disappointment for CDE Superfund Site Plan

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The Edison Wetlands Association (EWA), a grassroots non-profit involved in the cleanup of seventy toxic waste sites and twenty Superfund Sites in New Jersey, announces today that the USEPA's Proposed Plan for the Cornell-Dubilier Electronics (CDE) Superfund Site falls short in protectiveness and permanence.  


"While we are encouraged that the USEPA is finally working towards the cleanup and restoration of this critically important water body, they must address the short falls that the EWA and our environmental engineers have uncovered. The ongoing emergency at the CDE site is a direct threat to the human health and environment for all of Central Jersey, especially South Plainfield," according to Robert Spiegel, Executive Director of EWA. Spiegel has testified four times in front of the US Senate on Superfund related matters.  


The EWA got involved with the cleanup after finding PCB capacitors labeled "CDE" in the Bound Brook adjacent to the CDE Site. This led the EPA to mobilize their emergency removal branch to stabilize the PCB capacitors. EWA's long term advocacy prompted the USEPA to test the groundwater forcing the USEPA to modify its no action decision. 


Cornell-Dubilier Electronics, Inc. is located at 333 Hamilton Boulevard, South Plainfield, New Jersey, adjacent to the Bound Brook. From 1936 to 1962, CDE manufactured electronic parts and components including capacitors. During site operations, the company released and buried materials contaminated with PCBs and chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily trichloroethylene (TCE), which resulted in contaminating the surrounding site soils. In 1998, the site was put on the EPA's National Priorities List. 


The Bound Brook has been deemed the most contaminated waterway in all of New Jersey. The Bound Brook is the only water body in the state of New Jersey that has a "do not consume any fish in any amount by any risk group" advisory. This is due to the PCBs that have been released at the CDE Superfund Site and failure of regulatory agencies to act responsibly and in a timely manner. The threats to human health and the environment are not a risk to solely South Plainfield residents but a threat to anyone who comes in contact with the multiple exposure pathways.

The Bound Brook stretches 10 miles, draining into the popular Spring Lake, in South Plainfield, New Market Pond in Piscataway, and ultimately the Raritan River. With limited recreational space in Central New Jersey, areas like Spring Lake are essential to residents. The USEPA's Proposed Plan for OU-4 makes no mention cleaning up the PCBs and TCE discharging from the groundwater to Spring Lake from the CDE site.


The USEPA cleanup plan of the Bound Brook and USEPA reports state that without direct action, these highly toxic chemicals may continue to discharge into the Bound Brook and adjacent areas for decades if not centuries.

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