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EPA ORDERS A.O. POLYMER AND IBM TO PERFORM CLEANUP WORK AT THE A.O. POLYMER SUPERFUND SITE IN SPARTA TOWNSHIP, N.J.

 EPA ORDERS A.O. POLYMER AND IBM TO PERFORM CLEANUP WORK AT
 THE A.O. POLYMER SUPERFUND SITE IN SPARTA TOWNSHIP, N.J.
 NEW YORK, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A.O. Polymer Corp., of Sparta, N.J., and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), were ordered to undertake cleanup at the A.O. Polymer Superfund site in Sparta.
 On March 31, 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Unilateral Administrative Order requiring the companies to carry out a remedy described in the Record of Decision (ROD) for the site, which was issued by EPA
June 1991. The order became effective


April 20. IBM has already agreed to perform the remedy.
 The order requires the responsible parties to implement the selected strategies for final cleanup of the site, including the extraction of contaminants from soils by the use of a soil vapor extraction system, and the removal of contaminants from groundwater by pumping the groundwater through a powdered activated carbon treatment system. EPA estimates that after the design of the soil treatment system is finished, cleanup of the tainted soil, which is the source of the groundwater contamination, can be completed in approximately 1 year. The cleansing of the contaminated groundwater will take approximately 12 years to complete. The remedy is estimated to cost $4.5 million.
 "This is a classic example of the 'polluter pays' philosophy embraced by the EPA Superfund program," said William K. Reilly, EPA administrator. "At Superfund sites across the nation, responsible parties have paid for or performed $5.1 billion worth of cleanup work. The strict liability scheme of the Superfund law encourages responsible parties to cooperate with the agency, and to pay for their share of the cleanup work."
 "This site has been the focus of concern for both the local residents and regulatory authorities over the years," said Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff, EPA Region 2 administrator. "Now that this order has taken effect, soil and groundwater contamination, the areas of greatest concern at the site, will be addressed, and we will be on our way to a final solution at the site."
 The site is located near the Wallkill River, one-half mile from the commercial area of Sparta. Approximately 750 people live in the area of the site.
 The four-acre A.O. Polymer manufacturing plant, active since the early 1960s, produces resins, plastics, paper coatings, and specialty polymers. In the late 1970s, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (NJDEPE) confirmed the contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface water in the area of the chemical plant, which allegedly resulted from substantial operational and waste disposal practices.
 Hundreds of leaking and deteriorated drums were on the site and many had been buried unsealed or crushed. In 1978, the Sparta Health Department and NJDEPE found volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in three domestic water wells. NJDEPE has cited the facility twice for improperly discharging plant wastewater and three times for air quality violations.
 -0- 5/1/92
 /CONTACT: Mary Breitenbach of EPA, 212-264-2515/ CO: A.O. Polymer Corp.; International Business Machines Corp. ST: New Jersey, New York IN: CHM SU:


CK -- NY040 -- 5446 05/01/92 11:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 1, 1992
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