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EPA Will Complete Cleanup of Remaining Contamination at Federal Superfund Site in Jobstown, Burlington County

Release Date: 08/15/2002
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(#02079) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected a $10.3 million cleanup 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 plan will 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.

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.

EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny said, “We have very positive news. EPA testing showed that private drinking water wells in the area have not been affected by the contamination from the Superfund site.” Ms. Kenny, who formally selected the plan, explained that the remedy will address the chemical-laden soil that continues to contaminate the ground water “by eliminating the last potential threat posed by the site to local drinking water supplies.” She added, “This action will also speed up the restoration of the local aquifer.”

The plan calls for the 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 Agency estimates that the construction of this final phase of the K&M Superfund site cleanup will take about 24 months to complete.

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 central 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. An earlier cleanup plan to address the lagoons was completed in 1997.