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. 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 is near or below NJDEP cleanup levels. Groundwater concentrations in the vicinity of the treatment system have been below NJDEP cleanup levels for several years.
As a result, the system was shut down and the treatment equipment was decommissioned and sent to a recycling facility in 2015.
Lockheed Martin also investigated 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; Avalon Watchung apartment complex; Regency Village Condominiums property
- All three sites are closest to the former contamination source. Indoor air quality was measured for the past five years to determine if vapors are entering structures from the ground below.
- In addition, soil vapor samples were collected beneath the foundations at the Walmart, all 16 buildings at Avalon Watchung, and eight buildings at Regency Village to evaluate whether sub-slab soil gas was present.
- Results from each of the sampling events indicated that TCE was not detected at concentrations above the New Jersey Vapor Intrusion Residential Indoor Air Screening Criteria.
- Concentrations of TCE were detected above the New Jersey Soil Gas Screening Level beneath one building on the Avalon Watchung property.
- Therefore, an additional sub-slab soil gas sample will be collected beneath that building at Avalon Watchung; however, no further action is required at Watchung Square Mall or the Regency Condominiums property.
In May 2013, Lockheed Martin submitted a biennial certification to the NJDEP for a groundwater classification exemption area (CEA).
The CEA was established to provide notice to the public that groundwater cleanup levels, while very close, currently are not being met within a defined area.
The public notification was provided in July 2014. In July 2016, a biennial public notification was completed. Also, in that month, a Response Action Outcome, which memorializes the completion of remediation activities, was filed with the NJDEP.
1953 - Stavid Engineering built an 80-acre industrial site that sits in the boroughs of Watchung and North Plainfield, N.J.
1959 - Lockheed Corporation, a predecessor to Lockheed Martin Corporation, acquired the engineering company
1959 - 1989 - Lockheed Electronics Company manufactured, tested and assembled electronic components at the site
1990's - The contaminated soil was excavated and disposed of in a licensed off-site landfill
August 1993 - It was determined that groundwater at the site was contaminated with TCE.
July 1998 - Lockheed received final approval from the NJDEP, which permitted unrestricted use of the site
1999 - Lockheed sold the property and the site was redeveloped
July 2003 - The system was installed and began operating.
May 2013 - Lockheed Martin submitted a biennial certification to the NJDEP for a Groundwater Classification Exemption Area (CEA)
July 2014 - The public notification was provided
2015 - The system was shut down
July 2016 - A biennial public notification was completed. A Response Action Outcome, which memorializes the completion of remediation activities, was filed with the NJDEP