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Enforcement

Case Summary: Sherwin-Williams Agrees to Clean Up Lead and Arsenic Contaminated Soil and Sediment at the Route 561 Dump Site New Jersey

On March 28, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sherwin-Williams Company entered into an agreement to clean up lead and arsenic contaminated soil and sediment at the Route 561 Dump site in Gibbsboro, N.J. The site is near a former paint manufacturing plant and was used as a paint waste dump. The Route 561 Dump site includes businesses, a vacant lot, White Sand Branch creek, and wetlands. Sherwin-Williams will pay an estimated $14 million to clean up the site, and pay EPA’s expenses in overseeing the work.

The soil and sediment cleanup at the Route 561 Dump site builds on previous work conducted at the site to address immediate risks. For this phase of cleanup, the EPA will oversee the removal of contaminated soil and backfilling of excavated areas with clean soil. Contaminated soil will be properly disposed of at approved facilities that are licensed to handle the waste. In total, approximately 23,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed.  Following excavation and backfilling, a soil cover will be placed over vegetated areas and an asphalt cap will be placed over portions of commercial properties.

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Information about Sherwin-Williams Company

The Sherwin-Williams Company is an American Fortune 500 company in the general building materials industry. The company, with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, primarily engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers primarily in North and South America and Europe.

Information about the Route 561 Dump Site

The Route 561 Dump Site is near a former paint manufacturing plant and was used as a paint waste dump. The Route 561 Dump site includes businesses, a vacant lot, White Sand Branch creek, and wetlands.

The Route 561 Dump site, the Sherwin-Williams/Hilliard’s Creek Superfund site, and the United States Avenue Burn Superfund site are all sources of contaminated soil and sediment, which has spread onto a number of residential properties within Gibbsboro and Voorhees, N.J. Under previous orders by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA, Sherwin-Williams has:

  • removed 8,096 cubic yards of sludge from a former lagoon area
  • removed 44,785 gallons of liquid waste
  • installed a soil vapor extraction treatment system to reduce the volatile organic compounds in soil near two former plant buildings
  • installed fencing to limit access to some source areas, and
  • started soil cleanup at residential properties, which is ongoing.

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Information about Pollutants and Environmental Effects

Lead is a neurotoxin and increasing amounts build up in the body. Even at low levels, lead in children can lower I.Q.s, cause learning disabilities, damage hearing, reduce attention spans, and cause hyperactivity and other behavior problems. Arsenic is toxic, can damage people’s health, and can cause cancer. This cleanup reduces the potential for harm to people’s health from coming into contact with, or accidentally ingesting, soil or creek sediment contaminated with lead and arsenic.

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Summary of the Settlement Agreement

EPA will oversee the removal of contaminated soil and backfilling of excavated areas with clean soil. Contaminated soil will be properly disposed of at approved facilities that are licensed to handle the waste. In total, approximately 23,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed. Following excavation and backfilling, a soil cover will be placed over vegetated areas and an asphalt cap will be placed over portions of commercial properties. The remedy also requires excavation of contaminated sediment from White Sand Branch. EPA will coordinate with property owners and occupants to ensure that the work is done with minimal disruption. The EPA will monitor the air near work areas throughout the process to ensure the safety of workers and the surrounding community.

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Contact Information

For more information, contact

Meredith Fishburn
Attorney-Advisor
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 564-4790
Fishburn.Meredith@epa.gov

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