EPA Finishes Clean Up of NJ Superfund Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that they have completed the removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials from a Trenton-area (New Jersey) superfund site that has plagued the area for more than a decade.

The EPA “has completed a removal action at an abandoned automotive brake pad manufacturing facility located on the border of Lawrence Township and Trenton in Mercer County, NJ,” notes a press release from the agency.

The site was once the home of Friction Division Products, Inc. The company moved out about 10 years ago and left the property strewn with dangerous materials, including asbestos, elemental sulfur, acids, flammable solids, waste oil, solvents, and metallic compounds. EPA cleaned up more than 800 drums and containers during the past 10 months, including dozens of drums of unknown materials.

A process such as this, adds the EPA, includes taking an inventory of all chemicals found, sampling them, and then categorizing them for proper disposal. Among the materials found at the Friction site were 70 tons of asbestos-containing materials, a result of the grinding of brake pads.

“EPA stepped in on this site and we have completed the cleanup work that we pledged to do,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “We identified the most critical actions that needed to be done and completed them in a timely manner so that the two towns involved are better safeguarded.”

From the early 1960s until 1996, two companies – most recently Friction – manufactured brake shoes and pads at the site. Friction moved across the river to Pennsylvania and left behind an environmental mess. After years of trying to convince Friction to clean up the area, New Jersey officials asked the EPA for help last year. Work on the site commenced in January 2007.

Leave a Reply