Maywood Chemical Works

Also Known As: Maywood Site, Maywood Interim Storage Site, MISS, Stepan Co., MCW
State: New Jersey
Location: Maywood
Time Period: AWE 1947-1950; Residual Radiation 1951-March 1, 2011
Facility Type: Atomic Weapons Employer

Facility Description

From 1916 to 1959, Maywood Chemical Works extracted radioactive thorium and rare earth elements from monazite sands for use in commercial products. From 1947 to 1950 the AEC purchased thorium compounds from the Maywood Chemical Company. Although this site was designated as part of the Formerly Utilized Site Remediation Action Program (FUSRAP) in 1983, no work was ever performed under this program prior to its transfer to the Army Corp.

During the period of residual contamination, as designated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and as noted in the dates above, employees of subsequent owners and operators of this facility are also covered under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.


Maywood Chemical Works is listed as an Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) site under the EEOICPA.

Maywood Chemical Works Workers

If you or your parent worked at this or any other AWE facility and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $150K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor. Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-855-EEOICPA (336-4272) or fill out the form to the right, even if your claim has been accepted or denied.

We can help with all OWCP (Federal Workers Compensation) claims, impairments, wage loss and health care. 2495 Main Street, Suite 442 Buffalo, NY.

Site Description and History

The Maywood, New Jersey, Site (formerly the Maywood Interim Storage Site) is located in Bergen County in northeastern New Jersey in the boroughs of Maywood and Lodi and the Township of Rochelle Park, approximately 13 miles northeast of Newark. The site comprises of the former Maywood Interim Storage Site and various vicinity properties, including the Stepan Company property and 88 residential, commercial, and government properties. All of those vicinity properties have been remediated under an ongoing Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) non-time- critical removal action.

From 1916 to 1959, rare earth metals and thorium were processed at the Maywood Chemical Works, resulting in contamination of the properties. The primary contaminant at the site is thorium-232, which originated from extraction processes involving monazite sands; radium and uranium are also present in soils above site-specific cleanup levels. The extraction of thorium was discontinued in 1959 when the property was sold to the Stepan Company, a pharmaceutical manufacturer. From 1963 to 1968, under license from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Stepan removed thorium wastes from properties adjacent to nearby State Route 17 and buried the wastes on the Stepan property.

Radiological surveys at the site and at nearby vicinity properties performed from 1980 through 1983 identified radioactive materials at levels above state and federal guidelines. The site was added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Priorities List in 1983, and in 1984, Congress assigned the site to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE then placed the site in its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). In 1985, the federal government acquired an 11.7-acre portion of the Stepan property to store soils and debris excavated from the vicinity properties until a suitable and permanent storage site became available. During the initial residential cleanups, approximately 35,000 cubic yards of soil were excavated and brought to the site. No licensed disposal site existed at the time for this type of material, and further cleanups and stockpiling of wastes were halted in 1986 when area residents and officials opposed these activities. In 1994, after a remedial investigation and a baseline risk assessment were completed, cleanup resumed with the shipment of 5,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil to a licensed disposal facility in Clive, Utah. Removal of contaminated material was completed in 1996, and a total of 13 properties were cleaned up that same year; 3 more were cleaned up in 1997.

In addition to soil contamination, site characterization studies conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) between 1997 and 2007 have identified contaminants in surface water, groundwater, and sediments on the site properties. Contaminants include radionuclides, volatile organic compounds,and metals.


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If you or your parent worked any of the DOE or AWE facilities listed on this website and became ill, you may be entitled to compensation of up to $400K plus medical benefits from the US Department of Labor.

Call EEOICPA Counsel Hugh Stephens at 1-800-548-4494, email, or fill out the form below whether or not you have already filed a claim and even if your claim has been accepted or denied.

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R. William Stephens, Esq.
R. Hugh Stephens, Esq.
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