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Final Stages Of Cleanup Underway At Two Superfund Sites in Buenaborough, Atlantic County, New Jersey

Release Date: 03/31/1999
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(#99044) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- A recently completed treatment system is cleaning up nearly 750,000 gallons a day of groundwater that was chemically contaminated by two hazardous waste sites in Minotola, New Jersey, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The system is part of EPA's long-term cleanup of the South Jersey Clothing Company (SJCC) and the Garden State Cleaners (GSC) federal Superfund sites on Central and Atlantic Avenues. It is the largest treatment system in terms of water flow -- roughly 275 million gallons per year -- financed to date through the federal Superfund program in the State of New Jersey. EPA also announced that a recently installed soil vapor extraction system at the SJCC site should be finished cleaning up approximately 1,400 cubic yards of soil contaminated with primarily trichloroethylene (TCE) within a year. These are the last in a series of EPA cleanup actions at both sites.

In the early 1970s, poor waste disposal practices by dry-cleaning businesses that operated at both sites resulted in repeated releases of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contaminated soil and ruined local private drinking water wells. Affected residents were provided alternate potable water until the Buena Borough Municipal Water Authority extended its service to their homes.

"This aquifer restoration and final soil cleanup work is great news for the residents who, as the most affected, have been our most important partners in this project. They showed great patience during unavoidable disruptions in road traffic when a mile of pipe and a large network of wells were installed in the midst of town," EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox explained. "We want to thank Mayor Gene Iannette who kept things moving with his assistance on construction permits, and the local police who skillfully minimized inconveniences to the community during the construction work."

On behalf of EPA, the Philadelphia District of the Army Corps of Engineers supervised all the construction work on the cleanup systems by Sevenson Environmental Services, Inc. of Niagara Falls, New York.

"Once again, the Corps is proud to provide a quality project to the Environmental Protection Agency and our local partners," said District Engineer Lt. Col. Debra M. Lewis. "We are pleased that we can continue to play a major role in EPA's ongoing environmental cleanup and restoration program."

Funds from the federal Superfund Trust paid for 90% of the approximately $15 million in construction costs and the State of New Jersey covered the remaining 10% on the groundwater treatment system, which includes a one-year startup period, as well as the ongoing soil cleanup at the SJCC site, which was preceded by a soil cleanup at the GSC site in 1995.

The groundwater cleanup system involves a network of 15 wells installed throughout the town designed to extract contaminated groundwater, which is pumped to a plant for treatment to meet drinking water standards. The clean water is then conveyed to a gallery of 12 wells north of the plant that inject the water back into the aquifer. The soil cleanup uses a technology called soil vapor extraction which applies a vacuum to withdraw chemical vapors from the soil. After the contaminants are removed from the soil, the system collects the contaminants on activated carbon filters.

The SJCC and GSC sites were added to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989, and are located one block apart. EPA addressed the sites in a combined investigation due to their proximity to one another and the similarity of the contamination, i.e. VOCs in groundwater and soil.

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: