The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a legal agreement with D.S.C. of Newark Enterprises, Inc. to obtain $1.6 million spent by the EPA to clean up the Friction Division Products site in Lawrenceville, N.J.
The site, formerly home to Friction Division Products Inc., was abandoned by the company when it shut down the business. The company filed for bankruptcy and D.S.C. of Newark Enterprises was the owner of the site.
The property was littered with asbestos material, acids, flammable materials, waste oil, solvents and metal compounds. Asbestos is known to cause a form of lung cancer and can cause other serious health problems. In 2007, the EPA cleaned up the abandoned automotive brake pad manufacturing facility and the settlement announced today repays the EPA for a large portion of that work.
“The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters, not taxpayers should pay for the cleanups,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The EPA works hard to recover taxpayer dollars spent on the cleanup of abandoned and polluted sites. In this instance, more than 90 percent of the costs will be repaid through the agreement.”
At the Friction Division Products site, the EPA removed up more than 800 drums and containers, including dozens of drums of unknown materials. The process included taking an inventory of the chemicals and categorizing them through sampling. They were then sorted for disposal at a licensed facility. Additionally, the EPA identified and disposed of approximately 70 tons of asbestos-containing material generated from the grinding of brake pads.
From the early 1960s to 1996, automotive brake parts were manufactured at the site by two companies, most recently Friction Division Products. In 2006, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection requested the EPA’s assistance in addressing the threat posed by the abandoned chemicals. The EPA secured the site and began the cleanup after discussions with the company to carry out the work failed to result in a cleanup.
Superfund is the federal cleanup program established by Congress in 1980 to investigate and clean up the country’s most hazardous waste sites. When sites are addressed under the Superfund program, the EPA looks for parties responsible for the pollution and requires them to pay for the cleanups.
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