Work Stopped at AvalonBay Site While Materials Tested for PCBs

avalonBay Princeton stoppageConstruction work has stopped at the AvalonBay site on Witherspoon Street because some materials at the site have tested positive for PCBs, officials said today.

Work has been stopped for a few weeks, several stockpiles of materials have been covered with plastic sheeting, and the site is being wetted down daily to prevent dust damage.

In anticipation of removing excess materials from the site, AvalonBay conducted a preliminary tests on crushed concrete and advised town officials that they have identified the presence of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in some of the concrete.

AvalonBay took additional samples in response to the findings and has sent them out for further testing. The results are expected within two weeks. Avalon Bay has indicated that they will provide the test results to Princeton’s staff and professionals, officials said.

In the interim, AvalonBay has fully covered all stockpiled materials and has been wetting the site down daily. Princeton’s Health Officer, Jeff Grosser, and Princeton’s environmental expert, Ira Whitman, have confirmed that these are the measures that need to be taken to safeguard the public’s health and safety.

Princeton’s Health Officer has also confirmed that both the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Mercer County Department of Health have been notified of the situation and have assigned a case number to the matter. Grosser is in regular contact with the County Health Department, officials said.

“Until the results of AvalonBay’s secondary testing are received and reviewed, the municipality will not speculate about the conditions of the stockpiled materials,” officials said in a press statement.  “Princeton will, however, monitor the site daily to ensure that until such time as more information is available, AvalonBay continues keep the stockpiled materials covered and continues to wet down the site for dust control.”


  1. Why were not alerted sooner. We have windows open and fans blowing in to house in the evening. This has been poorly handled.

  2. Interesting that our town is relying on Avalon’s self-monitoring. Avalon has a pretty dismal record of safety compliance. Has Princeton decided to totally defer to Avalon Bay to self-test and self-monitor and report what they think needs to be reported?

  3. Is it correct, as reported in the media, that the covered “materials” are crushed concrete and tested positive for PCBs? People reported during the demolition that each time they walked past the hospital site they could smell cement. At the time the hospital building was demolished, obviously there was dust from the concrete. Did this dust contain PCBs?

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