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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Finalizes $8.7 Million Cleanup Plan for Contaminated Soil in Vineland, N.J. near Former Pesticides Manufacturing Facility

Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (rodriguez.elias@epa.gov)
(212) 637-3664

(New York, N.Y. – Sept. 12, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized an $8.7 million plan to clean up contaminated soil at approximately 57 residences that are impacted by the Former Kil-Tone Company site in Vineland, N.J. Pesticides were manufactured at the now defunct Kil-Tone Company facility, and soil at the site, including soil in the yards of nearby homes, is contaminated with arsenic and lead. The city’s drinking water has not been impacted by the contamination. The drinking water supply is monitored regularly to ensure the water quality meets drinking water standards and is safe to consume.

Lead is a neuro toxin and increasing amounts build up in the body. Even at low levels, lead in children can lower I.Q.s, cause learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention spans, hyperactivity and other behavior problems. Lead exposure can also cause health problems in pregnant women and harm fetuses. Arsenic can also damage people’s health and can cause cancer.

“The EPA’s cleanup actions will help protect children and adults from exposure to arsenic and lead in soil at these properties,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “The EPA is committed to addressing the lead and arsenic contamination from the former pesticides manufacturing facility site.”

The EPA held a public meeting in Vineland on August 2 to explain its proposed plan. The EPA took public comment for 30 days and considered public input before finalizing the plan.

The Kil-Tone Company manufactured pesticides, which included arsenic and lead, from approximately 1917 to 1926 on the property at 527 East Chestnut Avenue in Vineland, N.J. In 1926, the Kil-Tone Company sold the property to Lucas Kil-Tone Co., which is believed to have continued manufacturing pesticides at the property until at least 1933. The property is currently occupied by an unrelated and active business.

In January and February 2015, EPA completed soil sampling on 27 residential properties located near the former Kil-Tone Company property. Building on the work of previous investigations initiated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the EPA confirmed that soil at both the former Kil-Tone Company property and in the yards of nearby homes had unacceptable levels of arsenic and lead. The EPA advised residents in April 2015 on immediate actions they should take to reduce potential exposure to the contaminated soil in their backyards. In June 2015, the EPA sampled soil at 35 additional residential properties located near the site. The EPA has shared the sampling results with the affected residents and businesses and held a public meeting in July 2015. In April 2016, the EPA began work to reduce, in the short term, the potential exposure from the elevated levels of arsenic and lead at the residential properties by placing sod, stone, mulch or another barrier at the impacted areas.

As part of the cleanup plan, the EPA is requiring removal and disposal of contaminated soil that is impacted by the former Kil-Tone Company facility. The soil will be dug up and properly disposed of at facilities licensed to handle the waste. The excavated areas will be backfilled with clean soil, replanted with vegetation, if appropriate, and restored. In total, approximately 21,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed. During the soil cleanup activities, monitoring will be conducted to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup. Data from residential soil sampling at approximately 60 properties sampled for potential action has been shared with the property owners. Additional properties may require a cleanup and, under the selected cleanup plan, the EPA will determine the precise number of residential properties that need soil remediation after additional sampling during the design phase of the project is completed. The EPA will coordinate with the property owners and/or occupants to ensure that the work is done with minimal disruption. The EPA will monitor the air near the work areas.

In April 2015, the EPA collected surface water and sediment samples along the Tarkiln Branch to the confluence with the Maurice River. Sampling results show elevated levels of arsenic and lead related to the Former Kil-Tone Company Superfund site. The commercial soil, industrial soil, surface water, sediment and groundwater, as well as the contaminated soil at the Former Kil-tone Company property itself will be the subject of future cleanups. This action addresses residential properties near the former facility area.

The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanups, rather than passing the costs to taxpayers. The EPA searches for parties legally responsible for the contamination at sites that are placed on the Superfund list and it seeks to hold those parties accountable for the costs of investigations and cleanups. EPA has not been able to locate any viable liable parties for this site and thus the remedial action at this site will need to be funded by the federal Superfund program. 

To read the EPA’s record of decision, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/former-kil-tone

For a direct link to the Record of Decision for the Former Kil-Tone Company site:  https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/02/377092

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