Between 1980 and 1981, NJDEP performed extensive cleaning exercises that included surface drums removal, excavation and removal of the affected lagoon’s soil and backfilling it with clean soil (ATSDR, 2009).
As a result, 1,150 drums, 1,700, and 120 cubic yards of contaminated soil and crushed debris and drums were removed respectively and about 86 waste alcohol drums were also removed in 1981. The NJDEP installed 11 monitoring wells; this helped the industry made the 1983 National Priority List of endorsed companies. Complains by workers concerning exposure to toluene diisocyanate (TDI), resin dust and formaldehyde made the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigate A.O. Polymer in 1983.
The organization found A. O. Polymer industry guilty of keeping a poor and unorganized workplace, eye drenching equipment and fire management training were not provided for workers. These initial investigation results also made the plant to be on the spotlight by Federal, State and Local authorities in the better part of this period. In November 1981, NJDEP cautioned A.O. Polymer for failing to obtain the permit of State discharge for water released to the cooling pond. Two months later, NJDEP ordered A.O. Polymer to stop discharging waste water from the plant to its septic system. The order was dropped because A.O. Polymer explained to NJDEP that it had lined the cooling pond and the water was meant to cool the reactor.