EPA presents Pfizer with $194M bill to clean up former American Cyanamid site

The cleanup of the former American Cyanamid drug manufacturing site in Bridgewater, NJ, has been ongoing for decades. But the EPA this week presented Pfizer with a bill for its share of the cost of cleaning up the superfund site.

The Justice Department said that the drugmaker has agreed to pay $194 million for the cleanup of 6 disposal areas at the 575-acre site. It will chip in an additional $1 million to reimburse the EPA for costs the agency has already paid out for overseeing cleanup work at the 100-year-old site.

Pfizer ($PFE) took responsibility for the site with its 2009, $68 billion buyout of Wyeth. Wyeth picked it up when it acquired American Cyanamid in 1994. Chemical contamination there includes the carcinogen benzene.

"The company continues its dedication to remediating the site, which has been impacted by historical operations at the American Cyanamid Superfund Site and will do so responsibly, effectively and in full cooperation with the USEPA, NJDEP and communities involved," Pfizer said in a release, NJ.com reported. Pfizer said it had already set aside money to pay for the cleanup.

The DOJ said that Pfizer will continue to operate a system for collecting and treating contaminated groundwater underneath the site to prevent it from seeping into the nearby rivers and creeks and that the company and the EPA are looking into "alternatives for cleaning up two additional waste disposal areas."

According to NJ.com, the cleanup resulted in a 140-acre piece of the site being approved in 1998 for development. A retail center, the Somerset Patriots TD Bank Ballpark and a NJ Transit parking lot were built on that parcel.

- here's the DOJ release
- more from NJ.com