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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Proposes Plan to Remove Contamination at Superfund site in Gibbsboro, N.J.

EPA to Hold Public Meeting in Gibbsboro

07/27/2017
Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (rodriguez.elias@epa.gov)
212-637-3664

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to remove lead and arsenic contaminated soil and sediment at the United States Avenue Burn Superfund site in Gibbsboro, N.J. The site is near a former paint manufacturing plant and was used as a paint waste dump. Lead and arsenic are toxic and can potentially damage people’s health.

“This plan will build on work already performed at the site and calls for the removal of sources of contamination that pose a threat in the long term,” said Catherine McCabe, Acting EPA Regional Administrator. “The work required under this proposed plan complements work happening at other nearby sites to protect the health of people who live and work in this community.”

Reports indicate that paint wastes and solvents were dumped or poured onto the ground at the United States Avenue site and often burned. These activities contaminated soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water with hazardous chemicals. Work has already been conducted to address the immediate risks posed by the site, including some excavation and disposal of contaminated soil from a portion of the site and the installation of fencing. The restricted and fenced portion of the United States Avenue Burn site is 13 acres in size. The site also includes portions of White Sand Branch, Honey Run Brook, and the railroad track area near Bridgewood Lake.

For this phase of cleanup, contaminated soil will be removed and properly disposed of at approved facilities that are licensed to handle the waste. In total, approximately 60,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be removed.  The excavated areas will be backfilled with clean soil, replanted with vegetation, if appropriate, and restored. Contaminated soil beneath United States Avenue Road will remain undisturbed.  The asphalt paving and roadbed will act as a cap, preventing exposure. The EPA will oversee the work.

The proposed cleanup also requires excavation of contaminated sediment from White Sand Branch and Honey Run Brook, and a system to temporarily divert the stream will be constructed to access the sediment. In total, approximately 825 cubic yards of contaminated sediment will be removed. Water will be removed from the sediment and treated water will be discharged to White Sand Branch and Honey Run Brook meeting New Jersey surface water quality standards. Processed sediment will be taken to a facility licensed to receive the waste. The streams will be restored after the excavation. The EPA will monitor surface water to ensure that water quality standards are met in White Sand Branch and Honey Run Brook.

The EPA will coordinate with all impacted property owners and area residents 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.

The EPA is requiring that deed notices be placed on properties to govern how the land may be managed in the future in order to limit people’s exposure to contaminated soil. The EPA will conduct a review every five years to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup.

The soil and sediment cleanup at the United States Avenue Burn site builds on years of previous work conducted at the site to address immediate risks. The United States Avenue Burn Superfund site, the Route 561 Dump site, and the Sherwin-Williams/Hilliard’s Creek Superfund site are all sources of contaminated soil and sediment, which has spread onto a number of 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.

The EPA will hold a public meeting on August 10 to explain the cleanup proposal and other options considered and to take public comments. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Gibbsboro Senior Center, 250 Haddonfield-Berlin Road, Gibbsboro, N.J. Comments will be accepted until August 28, 2017.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:

Julie Nace, Remedial Project Manager

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

290 Broadway, 19th floor

New York, New York 10007-1866

Tel. 212-637-4126

E-mail: nace.julie@epa.gov

For a copy of the proposed cleanup plan or for more information, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/us-avenue-burn

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. It is anticipated that the proposed cleanup of at the United States Avenue Burn Superfund site will be conducted and paid for by the parties legally responsible for the site with oversight by the EPA.

The Superfund program is a cornerstone of the work that the EPA performs for citizens and communities across the country.  On July 25, 2017 Administrator Pruitt accepted recommendations from the task force established on May 22, 2017 to revitalize the Superfund program.  “My goal as Administrator is to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the agency’s core mission.”

The task force’s recommendations focused on five overarching goals: expediting cleanup and remediation, reinvigorating cleanup and reuse efforts by potentially responsible parties, encouraging private investment to facilitate cleanup and reuse, promoting redevelopment and community revitalization and engaging with partners and stakeholders. Work to prioritize and reinvigorate the program by the task force has been initiated and will be ongoing into the future. The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations.

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