| ||Site History and Background|| |
In 1959, Stepan Company purchased the Maywood Chemical Works, discontinuing all work with thorium. From 1963-l 968, under license from the Atomic Energy Commission, Stepan removed thorium wastes from properties adjacent to nearby State Route 17, burying the wastes on the Stepan property.
Radiological surveys in the area performed from 1980-1983 revealed the presence on many surrounding properties of radioactive materials at levels above state and federal guidelines. The site was added to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Priorities List in 1983 and was assigned by Congress to the Department of Energy (DOE) in 1984. DOE then placed the site in its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, known as FUSRAP.
In 1985, the federal government acquired an 11.7-acre portion of the Stepan property to store soils excavated from the vicinity properties until a suitable permanent storage site was identified. During the initial residential cleanups, approximately 35,000 cubic yards of soil were excavated and brought to the government-owned property, called the Maywood Interim Storage Site (MISS). At the time, there was no licensed disposal site for this type of material. Opposition by area residents and officials to further stockpiling of soil at MISS led the government in 1986 to halt further cleanups. Work with the community continued in an effort to reach a mutual understanding of the cleanup needs and challenges.
In 1992, the government completed a remedial investigation that defined the nature and extent of materials. In 1993, a baseline risk assessment was completed. In 1994, the government entered into a contract with Envirocare of Utah, which had obtained a license to dispose of the Maywood waste soils (as well as other waste in the FUSRAP program). Interim cleanup actions resumed in the fall of 1994 with the shipment of 5,000 cubic yards of soil to Envirocare of Utah.
Pile removal resumed in the spring of 1995 and was completed during the winter of 1996. Radiological surveys at 25 residential vicinity properties were completed in March 1995. Cleanup of these properties began in fall 1995 and continued in 1996 with the cleanup of a total of
13 residential properties. During the 1996 work, three additional properties were found to contain some contaminated soil. These properties were cleaned up during the summer of 1997.
Following enactment of this bill, contracts for the current site management contractor, Bechtel National, Inc., and the environmental studies contractor, Science Applications International Corp., were assigned to USACE. While details of this transition are currently being worked out, all of the parties involved are committed to avoiding any delays and ensuring that cleanup activities proceed smoothly.
The Corps has demonstrated expertise in executing similar environmental cleanups. Under the Superfund program and the Defense Environmental Restoration Program, the Corpí s New York District is already conducting remedial cleanups at hazardous waste sites throughout New York and New Jersey. Cleanup of FUSRAP sites will be modeled similarly to these ongoing activities, capitalizing on the technical capabilities that presently exist within the Corps.
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