MAYOR BOLLWAGE ANNOUNCES CHEMICAL CONTROL PROPERTY TO GO BACK ON CITY TAX ROLL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelly Vence
908-820-4124
Public Information Office
 
MAYOR BOLLWAGE ANNOUNCES CHEMICAL CONTROL PROPERTY TO GO BACK ON CITY TAX ROLL
 
 
ELIZABETH, NJ—June 16, 2014 - Mayor J. Christian Bollwage announced today that the land, which was formerly home to the Chemical Control Corporation (CCC), will go back on the City tax roll. The site, located at 23 South Front Street, consists of a two-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Elizabeth River. 
 
“The Chemical Control event was significant, resulting in the property being deemed a Superfund Site and underutilized for decades,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “By putting this vacant land back on the tax roll, it provides additional opportunities for exciting investments, growth and developments to occur as well as contribute to the ongoing transformation of Elizabethport."   
 
On May 13, 2014, the Elizabeth City Council approved a resolution permitting a public assignment sale of the following tax sale certificates held by the City of Elizabeth: Block 4 Lot 1438 - 45-PT 57 South Front Street; Block 4 Lot 1438.C - 23-43 South Front Street and Block 4 Lot 1438.D - PT 57-63 South Front Street. 
 
From 1970 to 1979, the CCC operated as a hazardous waste storage, treatment and disposal facility, accepting various types of chemicals for removal or incineration. Those wastes included acids, bases, arsenic and cyanide compounds, flammable solvents, compressed gases, biologic agents, explosive chemicals, radioactive wastes and pesticides. The site had been closed in January 1979 and a cleanup was initiated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). 
 
The cleanup lasted until April of 1980, when twenty-four thousand barrels of stored chemicals and toxic wastes exploded, sending a two hundred-foot fireball into the night sky in the late evening hours of April 21st. The cause of the fire, which burned for 15 hours, has never been determined, although unstable chemicals were the prime suspect. Smoke and ash were discharged over a 15-square-mile area, which closed schools in Elizabeth and Staten Island. Residents were told to stay inside for 10 hours. Fortunately a wind blowing eastward, carried clouds of toxic gases away from the heart of Elizabeth, and the clouds had largely dissipated by the time they reached the next population center on Staten Island.
 
After the fire, the remained wastes were removed and disposed of.  In addition, the top three feet of soil onsite was removed and replaced with clean gravel fill and a groundwater treatment system was established for the treatment of approximately six gallons of contaminated groundwater. 
 
The results of the June 2nd public assignment sale were as follows: Block 4 Lot 1438 - 45-PT 57 South Front Street - Bid $77,000; Block 4 Lot 1438.C - Certificate No. 2012 - 23-43 South Front Street - Bid $133,000 and Block 4 Lot 1438.D - Certificate No. 2013 - PT 57-63 South Front Street - Bid $40,000 for a complete total of $250,000. All bids were accepted at a meeting of the Elizabeth City Council on June 10, 2014.
 
The successful bidder at the auction was Dengel Enterprises, LLC, which is a holding company for Construction & Marine Equipment Co., Inc.