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Superior Barrel & Drum
Elk Township, New Jersey

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Involvement Coordinator

Sophia Kelley – (212) 637-3670

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The Superior Barrel and Drum Superfund site is a 5.5-acre property located in Elk Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey. Superior Barrel and Drum is listed as a drum reconditioning business. These facilities typically clean and recondition metal and plastic drums for resale, reuse, or disposal. The property includes a main processing building, a storage area, and numerous trailers. The site is partially located in a federally protected wetland, and is surrounded by densely forested or marshy areas.

EPA was asked by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to evaluate the facility in August 2013. EPA discovered more than two thousand chemical waste containers, mostly 275-gallon totes and 55-gallon drums, stored illegally on the site. Containers throughout the site were full of contents, though most were unlabeled. Containers were found to be leaking, exposed to weather elements, rusted, damaged due to gunshots, stored improperly, and laying on their sides.

EPA coordinated with the Gloucester County Fire Marshal’s Office, Gloucester County HazMat Team, NJDEP, Elk Township Mayor’s Office, and local police and fire departments to thoroughly investigate the site and remove hazardous materials. Results of EPA’s initial testing showed that hazardous substances, such as volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and other contaminants, were located within numerous containers. EPA’s field testing results found many of the contents to be flammable, corrosive, or containing other hazardous characteristics. Air monitoring stations were established throughout the site, and preliminary soil and surface water samples were also collected. EPA installed protective barriers around containers and placed fencing along the site to prevent the community from coming into contact with hazardous materials while cleanup activities were underway.

In July 2014, the last remaining waste was removed from the Superior Barrel and Drum site. Nearly 2,200 containers were removed, many holding hazardous substances. EPA removed over 215,000 gallons of hazardous chemical waste for treatment and disposal. No additional removal activities are currently scheduled. The EPA will conduct a comprehensive environmental assessment in July and August 2014.


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