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North Plainfield, New Jersey
In 1953, Stavid Engineering built an 80-acre industrial site that sits in the boroughs of Watchung and North Plainfield, N.J. Lockheed Corporation, a predecessor to Lockheed Martin Corporation, acquired the engineering company six years later. From 1959 to 1989, Lockheed Electronics Company manufactured, tested and assembled electronic components at the site. Lockheed closed the operation in 1989, and eventually sold the property, which is located on Route 22. In 1999, the site was redeveloped into a shopping center, the Watchung Square Mall.
Lockheed, which became Lockheed Martin in 1995 after the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta Corporation, assumed responsibility for the environmental cleanup. After closing the plant in 1989, the Corporation conducted an initial environmental investigation under the oversight of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The investigation identified trichloroethene (TCE), a cleaning solvent that had been used to clean electronic parts, and fuel oil in site soil.
In the early 1990s, the contaminated soil was excavated and disposed of in a licensed off-site landfill. In some areas of the site, TCE was extracted using a vapor-recovery system to remove contamination from the soil. After the soil cleanup was completed, the Corporation in July 1998 received final approval from the NJDEP, which permitted unrestricted use of the site.
In August 1993, it was determined that groundwater at the site was contaminated with TCE. Working closely with the NJDEP, the Corporation installed more than 40 monitoring wells to measure the extent of TCE in groundwater. Based on the findings, it was determined that a pump-and-treat system would best clean up the contamination. The system was installed and began operating in July 2003.
The treatment system was designed to collect the groundwater and remove the contamination in an aboveground processing facility, and has prevented contamination from entering Crab Brook. Groundwater contamination has decreased significantly since the system was implemented, and water quality continues to improve. The system has been temporarily shut down while repairs are completed and optimization opportunities are evaluated.
Lockheed Martin also is investigating the possibility that contaminated vapor from the groundwater is entering indoor air in buildings near the site. The investigation includes the Walmart at Watchung Square Mall and several ground floor residences at the Crystal Ridge Club apartment complex. Both sites are closest to the original contamination source and to the highest levels of TCE remaining in shallow groundwater. Indoor air quality was measured in July 2011 to determine if vapors are entering structures from the ground below.
Results from the July 2011 sampling event indicated that TCE was not detected at concentrations above the New Jersey Vapor Intrusion Residential Indoor Air Screening Criteria. NJDEP requested the collection of a confirmatory round of indoor air samples during the 2011-2012 heating season. These samples were collected in December 2011, and the results confirmed the observation from the July 2011 sampling event that TCE was not detected at concentrations above the New Jersey Vapor Intrusion Residential Indoor Air Screening Criteria.
North Plainfield Fact Sheet - January 2012