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Author      Title/Abstract      

The Development of a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Strategy for a Manufacturer of Halogenated Organic Chemicals
Author: George R. Campbell, Jurgen H. Exner, Robert F. Ortleb
Date: 6/179
Presented at the 26th Ontario Industrial Waste Conference, Toronto, Ontario, June 17-20, 1979

Saytech, Incorporated, a producer of specialty chemicals, operates a manufacturing facility in Sayreville, New Jersey. This plant, which was formerly operated by Hexcel Fine Organics, has been engaged primarily in the production of brominated organic chemicals. Until the end of 1976, the major products of the Sayreville plant were decabromobiphenyl (DBBP) and decabromobiphenyl oxide (DBBPO). Both of these chemicals have been used primarily as flame retardant additives in synthetic fibers and thermoplastics. The production of DBBP was discontinued in 1977, in favor of DBBPO, which is believed to be environmentally more acceptable. In 1977, a nationwide survey of manufacturers of polybrominated aromatic chemicals was completed, under the auspices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Hexcel facility was included in this survey, and the results revealed that certain areas of the plant site had become contaminated with trace amounts of DBBP. Acting upon this information, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) initiated a series of site inspections and sampling surveys at the Sayreville plant. The NJDEP also found evidence of site contamination, and focused specific attention on the detection of polybrominated aromatics in samples of stormwater runoff, and the process discharge to the municipal sewer system. Concern was raised over the possibility of contamination of local groundwaters and surface waters, as well as the potential impact of process chemicals on municipal treatment plant operations. Following a meeting with plant personnel, the NJDEP entered into a consent agreement that directed the plant to institute immediate corrective actions and to implement a waste management program to prevent or control future releases of pollutants. This paper traces the development of the comprehensive waste management program, as required by the consent agreement. Much of the work reported herein was executed by Hydroscience, Inc., in close cooperation with Saytech personnel.