The Carter Carburetor site (Site) was operated by the Carter Carburetor Corporation and Carter Automotive Products, both of which were subsidiaries of ACF Industries, Inc. from the 1920s until about 1984. The plant consisted of several connected multi-story manufacturing, testing, office and warehouse buildings that contained approximately 480,000 square feet of space. During its operational life, the plant manufactured carburetors for gasoline- and diesel-powered engines. Though exact employment figures are unavailable, the Carter Carburetor plant was a source of significant employment for the neighborhood from the 1930s until it ceased operations in 1984.
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The manufacturing process was that aluminum and zinc were die cast and machined into carburetor components, which were then cleaned, treated with protective coatings and assembled into carburetors on the premises. Although numerous chemicals were used in the manufacturing process, the more predominant contaminants found at the Site include poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and trichloroethylene (TCE). The primary PCB contamination at the Site was due to Pydraul, a hydraulic fluid used primarily in the die cast machines. TCE was a common industrial solvent primarily used for cleaning and degreasing carburetor components. In 1984, ACF Industries, Inc. closed the Site and dismantled much of the equipment.