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EPA Requests Public Comments on Deletion of the Reich Farms Superfund Site

05/14/2021
Contact Information: 
Stephen McBay (mcbay.stephen@epa.gov)
(212) 637-3672

NEW YORK – After cleanup work was completed and after review of years of groundwater monitoring data, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its intention to delete the Reich Farms Superfund Site from the National Priorities List and requests public comments on this proposed action. The National Priorities List is the EPA’s list of sites that are priorities for long-term evaluation and response under Superfund. Previous activities at the site, located in Toms River, New Jersey, included the improper disposal and storage of hazardous waste that contaminated soil and groundwater with toxic chemicals such as volatile organic compounds.

“All cleanup work at Reich Farms has been successfully completed and years of monitoring data show that it can be safely removed from the EPA’s Superfund list,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “Over many decades, EPA has overseen cleanup work at this site and has kept the community informed as well as engaged in our cleanup activities, monitoring and scientific studies. Deletion of this site is the next logical step.”

The three-acre Reich Farms property, which comprises part of the overall site, is located on Lakewood Road in the Pleasant Plains section of Toms River. The property is surrounded by commercial and residential areas. Deletion of a site from the National Priorities List occurs when site cleanups are successfully completed, and no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment, as is the case for this site.

In the early 1970s, drums containing wastes from Union Carbide Corporation’s (UCC) Bound Brook chemical manufacturing facility were disposed of on the property. UCC, the potentially responsible party, removed the drums and some contaminated soil in 1971. Residual wastes leaked from the drums contaminating the soil and eventually the underlying groundwater with organic chemicals. In September 1983, EPA placed the site on its National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

EPA’s cleanup plan in the form of a 1988 Record of Decision called for, among other things, excavation and treatment of contaminated soil and extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater at the site. EPA modified the selected cleanup on three occasions after it was issued, most recently in 2015.  After treating over 15,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, UCC completed the soil clean-up and eliminated contaminated soil as a source of groundwater contamination. In June 1997, four activated carbon units were added to the existing groundwater treatment system to remove a group of previously unidentified compounds (known as “SAN Trimer”), which were coming from the site.

In 2000, the National Toxicology Program began a study on a styrene-acrylonitrile trimer (SAN Trimer), which was discovered at the site to determine if the compound was a carcinogen. A peer review of the study was completed in January 2011 and a final report was released in 2012. Based largely on those results, EPA developed site-specific soil and groundwater cleanup goals for the SAN Trimer. Soil and groundwater at the Reich Farms Site have met those goals.

The site cleanup is complete. Site contaminants in soil and groundwater are below levels that would pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. Post remediation sampling of the groundwater will continue for several more years. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Projection was consulted and supports the deletion of this site from the NPL.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed decision to delete this site from the NPL.  Public comments on the proposed deletion will be accepted for thirty (30) days until June 14, 2021, and should be addressed to Jon Gorin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866

Written comments can also be emailed to Mr. Gorin at gorin.jonathan@epa.gov

For more information about the Reich Farms Superfund Site, visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/reich-farm

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/eparegion2

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