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EPA Proposes $58 Million Cleanup Plan For Buried Creosote at Federal Superfund Site in Manville Borough, New Jersey; Public Meeting Set

Release Date: 04/30/1999
Contact Information: Rich Cahill (212) 637-3666 /

(#99072) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a plan to remove an estimated 45,000 cubic yards of chemically-contaminated material buried in lagoons and canals under the Claremont Development residential community in Manville Borough, New Jersey. This community was built over a former railroad tie creosoting facility, currently known as the Federal Creosote Superfund site, where soil and groundwater are contaminated with creosote. The estimated cost of this plan is $58 million, 90% of which would be financed through EPA's Superfund Trust Fund and 10% through the State of New Jersey.

"EPA has already taken interim safety actions at the site, such as covering any exposed material, to eliminate any potential short-term health risks to residents through direct contact," said Deputy Regional Administrator William J. Muszynski. "We are streamlining our efforts to expedite the cleanup in response to the community's concerns about resolving the problems posed by the creosote in their neighborhood. This proposed plan is a key step in that process."

As part of the proposed plan for the cleanup, EPA would acquire ten to nineteen properties located over or adjoining the buried lagoons and canals and permanently relocate these residents before actual cleanup work would begin. EPA has scheduled a public meeting on May 12 at 7:00 to discuss the details of the plan with residents and solicit comments at the Weston Elementary School. The public comment period on the plan begins today and ends on June 1.

EPA's overall cleanup of the site will be completed in phases. The first phase is presented in this proposed plan and includes the purchase and demolition of the ten to nineteen properties and the excavation and off-site incineration and disposal of the creosote-contaminated materials from the lagoons and canals. EPA estimates that the acquisition of these homes and the permanent relocation of the residents could be completed within nine months to a year. During this time, the plans for the actual cleanup work will be finalized so that demolition and excavation work can begin after the residents are relocated.
While EPA carries out this plan, the agency will investigate the remainder of the site for contamination.

Copies of the proposed plan have been mailed to affected residents. Additional copies will be available at the EPA Field Office located at 31 S. Main Street in Manville and the Manville Borough Hall. Interested parties should mail their comments to Richard Puvogel, Remedial Project Manager, USEPA, 19th Floor, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866. The Agency will evaluate the public comments and expects to identify a final cleanup plan for the canals and lagoons this summer.

The FEDERAL CREOSOTE site in Manville Borough is a 137-property residential community. In late 1997, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection requested EPA assistance in determining if the presence of creosote in the soils of the development posed a significant risk to public health and the environment. EPA sampling in the spring of 1998 at numerous residential properties within the Claremont Development indicated the presence of creosote, as well as other compounds, at elevated levels in the surface soils on 19 residential properties. EPA determined that no immediate health risk exists to the community. However, for those 19 properties that contained creosote at elevated levels, EPA applied topsoil, mulch, seed and sod in order to limit any potential exposure. EPA added the site to the National Priorities List of most serious hazardous waste sites on January 19, 1999. The agency sampled sub-surface soils to further delineate the extent of the contamination in the Claremont Development. These investigations and subsequent study led to the plan that EPA is proposing for public comment.

For more information contact:
Richard Cahill, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3666 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: