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Burlington County Site Taken Off Superfund List

Release Date: 05/15/2008
Contact Information: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662,

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed cleanup work at the Tabernacle Drum Dump Superfund site in Tabernacle Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, and the site has been deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites. The site was placed on the NPL in September 1984, and will remain eligible for cleanup in the unlikely event that a change in site conditions would warrant such an action.

“The Tabernacle Drum Dump once posed a threat to the surrounding community because chemicals from leaking containers were contaminating the soil and ground water,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “We have addressed that threat and we were ready to take this site off the list, which is great news for this community and speaks to the success of the Superfund program.”

The Tabernacle Drum Dump is a wooded one-acre parcel of undeveloped land bordered by farmland and residences. Between 1977 and 1984, Atlantic Disposal Services (ADS), Inc. disposed of approximately 200 containers on the site. The containers leaked and contaminated the soil and ground water with solvents, paint sludge and heavy metals.

In February 1984, EPA ordered ADS to clean up contamination on the surface of the site and to perform an environmental study to see if deeper soil and ground water were contaminated. ADS completed the surface cleanup in July 1984, but did not perform the study. EPA then used Agency resources to evaluate the nature and extent of contamination in the deeper soil and ground water, and selected a cleanup plan for the site in June 1988. In November 1989, USX Corporation entered into a Consent Decree with EPA to clean up the site. Browning Ferris Industries, Inc. (BFI) later assumed the liability and took over managing the project from USX. The cleanup, conducted under EPA oversight, included extracting and treating contaminated ground water, re-injecting treated ground water back into the ground, ground water monitoring, and additional sampling to confirm that the soil did not require further cleanup.

The cleanup was completed in 1997, after treatment of the ground water and confirmation that additional soil cleanup was not necessary. The ground water was monitored for five years after the cleanup was completed to ensure that it was a success. BFI started to restore the site in the spring of 2005 by sealing monitoring wells, removing cleanup equipment and planting vegetation. BFI has planted seedlings again this spring to replace those that did not survive. The new vegetation will be monitored for three growing seasons to assure that the planting is successful.

The public comment period on EPA’s proposal to delete the Tabernacle Drum Superfund site from the NPL started on September 24, 2007 and ended on October 24, 2007. The notice of the proposed deletion of this site from the NPL was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2007. Comments from the public were considered and addressed and the site has been taken off the NPL.

For more information on the Tabernacle Drum Dump Superfund site, visit: For further reading on how sites are deleted from the NPL, go to: