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EPA Plans to Address Remaining Contamination at Federal Superfund Site in Jobstown, Burlington County; Public Meeting Scheduled

Release Date: 08/29/2001
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(#01109) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has scheduled a public meeting on September 6, 2001 to discuss its Proposed Plan to address the last of the chemical contamination in soil and ground water at the Kauffman and Minteer (K&M) federal Superfund site. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Springfield Township Municipal Hall at 2159 Jacksonville-Jobstown Road.

During the1990s, EPA removed in excess of 18,000 tons of contaminated material from the site. Today, only a relatively small amount of soil (2,200 cubic yards) and the most heavily contaminated ground water needs to be addressed to make the site safe. The $10.3 million plan, if approved, would complete the federal Superfund cleanup of the inactive 5.5-acre facility on the eastern corner of Route 537 and Jobstown-Juliustown Road in Jobstown. The company used to ship bulk liquids ranging from soap to solvents before it went bankrupt and abandoned the facility in 1992.

Acting EPA Regional Administrator William J. Muszynski said, "Recent EPA testing shows that private drinking water wells in the area have not been affected by the contamination from the Superfund site. By eliminating the remaining sources of contamination, we will remove any potential threat to these supplies. The action will also speed up the restoration of the local aquifer."

The Agency estimates that the construction of this final phase of the K&M Superfund site cleanup will take about 24 months to complete. The plan being announced today is in-situ treatment of the highly-contaminated soils and ground water, and pumping and treating of ground water, followed by its discharge off-site. The plan also calls for institutional controls, including well drilling restrictions to prevent use of the ground water for human consumption until it meets federal and state standards for drinking water quality. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has reviewed this proposed cleanup plan and agrees with EPA's decision.

From 1960 through 1981, the facility discharged wastewater from the washing of tanker-truck interiors into on- site, unlined lagoons without overflow controls. This practice caused the chemical contamination of soil and ground water at the site with trichloroethylene (TCE), a probable carcinogen, and cis-1,2 Dichloroethylene, which affects the nervous system. Both are used as industrial solvents. The other principal contaminant is vinyl chloride, a break down component of TCE, which is classified as a known carcinogen.

The NJDEP intervened at the site in the late 1970s and ordered the company to install spill controls at the lagoon and to store the wastewater in tank trailers for off-site disposal, in compliance with state regulations. Further contamination of a marsh adjacent to the site occurred in 1984 when the spill containment system at the lagoon broke, releasing a significant portion of the lagoon's contents into the environment. In 1985, the NJDEP asked EPA to take over the lead role for the cleanup of the site, which was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List in March 1989.

In September 1997, while completing the removal and off-site disposal of 12,000 tons of contaminated sludge and solidified material in the lagoon, EPA discovered additional soil contamination along a drainage ditch area and underneath one of the washbays of the building on the site. Later that fall, EPA removed 2,700 tons of contaminated soil from the drainage ditch area and pinpointed the extent of the soil contamination underneath and around the washbay area. In October 1998, EPA returned and removed a significant portion of the contaminated soil. The new plan would treat the remaining soil contamination.

EPA will consider written and oral comments on the plan from the public through September 26. Detailed information on the site studies and various cleanup options is available for review at the Springfield Township Municipal Hall on Jacksonville-Jobstown Road. Written comments on the plan should be sent to Jeff Catanzarita, EPA Remedial Project Manager, USEPA, Region 2, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866.