Last month, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a cleanup plan to eliminate 1,4-dioxane among other volatile organic chemicals and metals from the CPS/Madison Superfund site in Old Bridge, NJ. Although site remediation is already well underway
, the EPA has moved to expand the cleanup
by increasing and enhancing the existing groundwater treatment system and adding on-site treatment of contaminated soil.
1,4-dioxane is a volatile organic chemical often found at chemical manufacturing facilities, such as those previously at the CPS/Madison Superfund site. It is a clear, colorless liquid
that is commonly used as a stabilizer in certain chlorinated solvents, such as paint strippers, greases, and waxes. Because it is water soluble, 1,4-dioxane can easily leach into water sources and is resistant to biodegradation
, making it a challenge to remove from groundwater.
EPA cites 1,4-Dioxane as a likely carcinogen
through all routes of exposure. Although no Federal maximum contaminant level has been established, EPA has determined less than 4 mg/L concentration of 1,4-dioxane in drinking water is not likely to impact
our health. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), however, established a Federal limit of 100 parts per million when workers are exposed to 1,4-dioxane in the air.
CPS/Madison Superfund Site Remediation
1,4-Dioxane requires complex site remediation strategies, EPA notes in the proposal. Workers will need to excavate and relocate roughly 900 cubic yards
of contaminated soil from the CPS/Madison Superfund site to a specialized treatment center, where it will be remediated via oxidation.
Soil that has been exposed to organic contaminants other than 1,4-dioxane will be treated with chemical oxidants, breaking down the hazardous chemicals into water and carbon dioxide.
Contaminated groundwater would go through a similar process in which an oxidant is pumped into the groundwater. EPA would also use a line of wells to create a reactive barrier
, destroying the organic chemicals as they pass through. EPA also plans to monitor the groundwater for several years afterwards to ensure that the site will no longer be a source for contamination and will perform a full review every five years to ensure the cleanup’s effectiveness.
EPA has also instructed the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to monitor the water supply of neighboring Perth Amboy to ensure the safety of its municipal water supply.
EPA is currently accepting comments via e-mail here until May 24.
The public may also submit written comments to: John Osolin, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007.
HAZWOPER Training – Anytime, Anywhere
Hazmat techs are required to undergo Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training if they work in one of three activities:
- Work at an environmental cleanup site (e.g., Superfund cleanup site)
- Work at an EPA or state-permitted hazardous waste TSDF
- Responding to releases of hazardous materials
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