This website serves as a source of news and information for the residents of Bridgewater, Bound Brook, and surrounding communities regarding the remedy and restoration of the American Cyanamid Superfund Site owned by Wyeth Holdings LLC (WH). Pfizer Inc assumed responsibility for the site on October 15, 2009, through its larger acquisition of Wyeth. Although Pfizer never operated at the site, Pfizer takes its responsibility seriously and is aggressively working to improve site conditions.
Under the oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Pfizer is working to accomplish four key objectives:
- To implement a remediation program that is protective of human health and the environment;
- To ensure that site remediation activities facilitate reuse and redevelopment of portions of the property;
- To preserve and enhance the ecological assets of the property in a manner that creates value in the Raritan River regional ecosystem; and
- To position the property as an asset to the local community and the region.
The Raritan River and the entire tri-state region experienced historic flooding as a result of rains associated with Tropical Depression Ida. A major flood event has occurred in the Raritan River at Bound Brook, New Jersey, including at the American Cyanamid Superfund Site (Site) in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Pfizer Inc. and the Wyeth Holdings LLC team initiated the Flood Emergency Procedures and Flood Management and Response Plans approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the Site.
- Site operations were maintained throughout the storm from the Operations Center on Polhemus Lane.
- The groundwater treatment facility remained and remains operational.
- A majority of the infrastructure improvements built, including all those above historic flood levels, remained operational.
- The Impoundment 8 Facility, located on Polhemus Lane and under final closure, had no significant impacts.
- Wyeth is adhering to the USEPA-approved Site-specific Flood Management and Response Plan (FMRP) that outlines the requirements for post-flood inspections, monitoring, floodwater release and cleanup.
- Impoundments 1 and 2, located in the southeast corner of the site and in the floodway, were overtopped by floodwaters. Visual evaluations found a small amount of tar droplets along two berms that are part of Impoundment 1. Wyeth has addressed the minor tar residual on the Impoundment 1 berms in accordance with the USEPA-approved FMRP and with USEPA oversight.
- Surface water sampling was conducted in the Raritan River and Cuckel’s Brook in accordance with the USEPA-approved FMRP. Laboratory results reported water quality generally consistent with reported results during the May 2021 routine sampling program, suggesting that there were no significant impacts as a result of the flooding.
- The floodwaters within the North Area flood control berm on the main site were also sampled under the USEPA-approved plan. Laboratory results reported no significant impacts within the floodwaters.
- With USEPA approval and NJDEP concurrence, the contained floodwaters in the North Area were released into Cuckel’s Brook in a controlled manner through the onsite sluice gate. Routine sampling up- and downstream of the sluice gate discharge in Cuckel’s Brook and the Raritan River was conducted and USEPA, NJDEP and Wyeth continually monitored the release to ensure that there were no adverse effects associated with this floodwater discharge. The sluice gate was closed on September 22, 2021 ceasing discharge of impounded floodwaters from the North Area directly to Cuckel’s Brook.
- Additional evaluations, assessments, and testing will occur under the FMRP as needed.
Pfizer continues to actively work with USEPA, NJDEP, and other stakeholders, to move the site remediation process forward. We are committed to implementing a site restoration program that is responsive to stakeholder input and returns the property to productive use. Additional details regarding the status of the site and recent activities can be found on the Site Progress page.
Work continues at the Site; however, operations have been modified due to the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 virus. The Site is closed to all visitors and access is limited to critical personnel. Site security measures and operation of the onsite groundwater extraction and treatment system continue. COVID-19 safety protocols have been implemented and site contractors have taken extra precautions such as adding hand washing stations, use of appropriate personal protective equipment, and maintaining social distancing whenever possible. The technical staff continues to work on remediation designs and other tasks remotely and will work diligently to keep the overall project moving forward despite the challenging circumstances.
Impoundments 1 and 2
On September 30, 2019, USEPA and WH executed an Administrative Order on Consent that allows WH to move forward with design and engineering for the remediation of Operable Unit 8 (OU8), commonly referred to as Impoundments 1 and 2. Additional information about the remedy, described in the Record of Decision issued by USEPA on September 25, 2018, can be found on the OU8 Remedy page.
- The 2021 scaled-up remedy demonstration campaign being performed has been suspended as a result of Tropical Depression Ida. The project team will focus on flood recovery and final remedy design.
WH is working under a Consent Decree with the USEPA to implement the site-wide remedy designated by USEPA as Operable Unit 4 (OU4). Under this agreement, WH is moving forward with the remedy of site soils, site groundwater, and a majority of the remaining impoundments still requiring remediation, as described in the Record of Decision issued by USEPA on September 27, 2012.
- The WH team has invested significant resources in the engineering and design of this remediation program. Construction of the groundwater control, extraction, treatment, and reinjection system is complete and the system is fully operational. Visit the Site-wide Remedy page for additional information and photos of the groundwater treatment system.
Impoundment 8 Facility
The Impoundment 8 Facility located on Polhemus Lane in Bridgewater, was designed to receive stabilized/treated waste exclusively from other areas of the Site as part of a multi-phase remediation program. In 2018, EPA issued the final CERCLA Record of Decision choosing a remedy to address impacted soil, groundwater and surface impoundments at the Site. Based upon EPA’s selected remedies, the Impoundment 8 Facility will not be necessary to manage more waste/material. Therefore, WH is moving forward to implement a final closure and post-closure care plan for the Impoundment 8 Facility. For additional information, visit the Impoundment 8 Facility webpage.
- WH is implementing a NJDEP-approved Remedial Action Work Plan which calls for a portion of the material within the Impoundment to be redistributed and regraded to lower the profile, improve aesthetics and allow for stormwater management. A final impermeable cover system will be put in place, along with a vegetative cover. Work is expected to continue through the end of the year. For more information, visit the Current Activities page.