EPA Proposes Comprehensive Cleanup of 1,4-Dioxane at NJ Superfund Site

Posted on 5/23/2019 by Lauren Scott

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:


  1. Work at an environmental cleanup site (e.g., Superfund cleanup site)
  2. Work at an EPA or state-permitted hazardous waste TSDF
  3. Responding to releases of hazardous materials

Ensure you and your team know what to do for the next HAZWOPER incident and keep in compliance with OSHA’s HAZWOPER standard with Lion’s 40 Hour HAZWOPER Initial Contaminated Site Cleanup online training. This course is specially designed for general workers such as equipment operators, laborers, and supervisors who need initial site cleanup training with the flexibility to start, pause, and complete the course at their own pace, wherever they are.

Need more specialized training? Check out Lion’s full suite of HAZWOPER training here for site cleanup and emergency response personnel at every level of certification.  

Tags: 1, 4-Dioxane, DEP, Department of Environmental Protection, environmental, EPA, New Jersey, NJ, Superfund

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