Site Owner Agrees to Pay for Cleanup of New Jersey Superfund Site
WASHINGTON—Wall Herald Corporation has agreed to pay approximately $20 million for past and future cleanup costs incurred by the federal government at the Monitor Devices Superfund site in Wall Township, N.J., according to a settlement filed today in federal court in Trenton, N.J., the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.
Under the settlement, Wall Herald, a privately held corporation, will reimburse EPA for its investigation of soil and ground water at the site and the development of the cleanup plan. In addition, the money provided in the settlement will pay for the cost of completing the cleanup. The settlement agreement resolves a complaint filed in the district of New Jersey in 2007.
The Monitor Devices site is located in the industrial park section of the Monmouth Executive Airport. The ground water at the site is contaminated with hazardous chemicals, including trichloroethylene, which is a solvent used to clean metal parts that can cause nervous system effects, liver and lung damage.
"Today’s settlement demonstrates that we will ensure that Superfund sites in our communities around the country and here in New Jersey are cleaned up, and that parties responsible for those sites bear the cost of the cleanup," said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
"This settlement is proof positive that the Superfund process works," said Regional Administrator Judith Enck. "EPA didn’t just wait around for this company to agree to pay up, we went forward with the work we needed to do while negotiating this settlement."
Wall Herald is the current owner of the Monitor Devices site, and has owned the property since the early 1960s. From 1977 to 1980, Wall Herald leased a portion of the site to Monitor Devices Inc., a company that went bankrupt in 1988. Monitor Devices manufactured and assembled circuit boards used by companies in the computer industry and circuit panels that were plated with copper, lead, nickel, gold and tin. The manufacturing process generated wastewater which was discharged directly onto the ground, resulting in contaminated soil and ground water at the property.
In 1986, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection began investigating the extent of the soil, subsurface soil and ground water contamination and the site was added to the Superfund list that same year. EPA assumed the lead of the investigation into the extent of the ground water and soil contamination in the mid-90s and later determined that the ground water required remediation. EPA will begin the ground water cleanup this spring.
The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html .