Burlington, Evesham, and Medford Townships, NJ
No meeting scheduled.
Natalie Loney (212) 637-3639
The Ellis Property is a 36-acre tract of land located in Evesham and Medford Townships. The property is surrounded by farmland and wooded lots. The site, originally a dairy farm, was used for drum storage and reconditioning operations. Approximately 4 acres of the 36-acre tract were directly involved in this operation. The site included a large two-story building housing several washing tanks and troughs, and 50 to 75 drums, many full. There were also three sheds, which contained drums of various sizes and chemical containers. An area adjacent to the sheds contained about one hundred 55-gallon plastic drums, most of which still contained some liquid. A total of approximately 300 containers were discovered at the site. Some of the drums had corroded or otherwise deteriorated so that the contents had leaked onto the ground. The shallow Englishtown Aquifer underlies the site, with other aquifers about 300 feet below. Ground water in the vicinity serves as a drinking water source for approximately 900 homes, and for the irrigation of farmland. There are about 20 potable wells within a 1-mile radius of the site. Approximately 3,500 people live within a three-mile radius of the Ellis Property; the nearest residence is about 2,500 feet from the site. The closest surface water body is Sharps Run, approximately 1/4 mile north of the site. Drainage from the site flows east through a natural swale and trenches into a wetland area. Drainage from the wetlands eventually leads to Sharps Run.
The shallow ground water is contaminated with volatile organic chemicals or VOCs, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and heavy metals, including arsenic, chromium and lead. The surface soils are contaminated with VOCs, heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Surface water and sediments at the site show elevated levels of heavy metals and TCE. Ground water contamination appears to be limited to the shallow aquifer. People may be at risk from direct contact with contaminated soil, or accidental ingestion of the contaminated groundwater and soil. Ecological communities were found to be at marginal, but not unacceptable, risk from the contaminants in the wetland.
EPA performed several removal actions to alleviate immediate risks posed by the site. Approximately one ton of lime was used to neutralize the acid soil spill. Removal of the remaining drums and containerized materials was completed in 1990. Under the remedial action for soil, approximately 1,000 cubic yards (1,600 tons) of contaminated soil were excavated and backfilled with clean soil, and the ground-water remedy is underway. NJDEP established a classification exemption area for the contaminated portion of the aquifer to prevent the installation of new wells. Contaminated soils were removed from the site. The ground water remedy is ongoing. NJDEP and EPA are currently evaluating changes to the ground water remedy to speed up the cleanup process.