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Federal Creosote

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Site Description

The Federal Creosote site occupies approximately 50 acres of a highly developed residential/commercial area in the Borough of Manville, in central NJ. The site was operated as a coal tar wood treatment facility from 1911 to 1956. Excess creosote waste sludge was discharged into two unlined canals which conveyed the waste into two unlined lagoons on the site. In addition, much of the site was used to stage treated wood which dripped creosote waste onto surface soils. After operations ceased and the wood treatment facility was dismantled, the property was purchased by a developer. In the 1960s, 137 single family homes were built on 35 acres of the Site. This residential area became known as the Claremont Development. The remaining 15 acres of the site was developed into the Rustic Mall which consists of commercial and retail establishments. Creosote wastes were buried on site and were not removed prior to the development of the Rustic Mall and the Claremont Development.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • The site has been divided into three cleanup projects known as Operable Units (OUs):
    • OU1: the source areas, which affect residential properties within the Claremont Development associated with the lagoons and canals;
    • OU2: residual soil contamination on residential properties, including the remaining contaminated properties within the Claremont Development; and
    • OU3: commercial properties in the Rustic Mall and site wide groundwater.
  • EPA has prioritized cleanup in the residential portion of the site.
  • In 2000, cleanup activities commenced on OU1. OU1 addresses the creosote sludge wastes in the lagoons and canal that are buried beneath 29 residential properties. The cleanup of these properties involves the permanent relocation of residents from 19 properties, demolition of the homes, and excavation of the buried creosote waste lagoons and canals. The cleanup of the lagoon and canal areas continues with 195,000 tons of the estimated 212,000 tons of creosote contaminated soil removed from the lagoon and canal areas for treatment and disposal.
  • OU2 cleanup activities include the removal of residually contaminated soil from 64 residential properties and roads in the Claremont Development. Cleanup of OU2 residential properties was started in 2001. Cleanup has been completed on 59 residential properties resulting in the removal of 35,000 tons of creosote contaminated soil from these properties. The remaining 10,000 tons of contaminated will be removed from beneath the rest of the OU2 residential properties and streets by early 2006.
  • EPA plans to start remediation of OU3, the Rustic Mall, in 2005 to remove 95,000 tons of soil. The Rustic Mall has been the focus of redevelopment plans by the local government and mall owners. Working cooperatively and in a timely manner with the Borough and mall owners on the re-development planning presents potential opportunities for cost savings during remediation.
  • EPA continues to monitor the site to ensure there is no immediate threat to human health or the environment throughout the long-term cleanup.

Current Funding Status

  • EPA has prioritized the residential portion of the site for funding and cleanup activities.
  • It is estimated that $10 million dollars is needed to complete the cleanup of remaining residential properties and roadways in Fiscal Year 2005.
  • The cleanup of the Rustic Mall is expected to begin in Fiscal Year 2005. It is estimated that $20 million dollars will be needed in Fiscal Year 2005 for the ongoing Rustic Mall cleanup. The cleanup for the mall is estimated to take 2 years.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Federal Creosote Fact Sheet on the Region 2 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • Since 2000, EPA has removed 241,000 tons of soil beneath the residential development for off-site treatment and disposal. A total of 364,000 tons require removal from both the residential and commercial properties.
  • Of the 93 residential properties in need of remediation, 83 have been completed.


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