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EPA Proposes Two More Sites To The Superfund National Priorities List in New Jersey

Release Date: 09/29/1998
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(#98134) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to add two new sites in New Jersey, the United States Avenue site in Gibbsboro, New Jersey and the Middlesex Sampling Plant in Middlesex, Middlesex County, to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The site in Gibbsboro is contaminated with paint wastes that pose a potential threat to public health through direct contact with the materials and also endanger the environment. The responsible party fenced off the property in 1994 to restrict public access. The site in Middlesex has radioactive and chemical wastes that have contaminated soil, surface water and local groundwater that are being addressed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has secured the area to prevent public access.

These additions to the NPL bring the total number of federal Superfund sites in New Jersey to 111. The NPL is the federal list of the nation's worst hazardous waste sites. The Agency periodically proposes sites to the NPL and designates proposed sites as final. Proposed sites are investigated further to determine the extent of the risks they may pose to human health and the environment. Sites that are placed on the final NPL are eligible for long-term "remedial action" or cleanup financed under the federal Superfund Trust Fund.

According to EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox, "The proposed listing of the New Jersey sites means that EPA can begin comprehensive evaluations of the contamination, which will lead to plans for permanent cleanup of the sites. Without Superfund, communities are left with no way to address the serious hazardous waste sites that threaten their local environments and economies."

The following is a description of the two sites in New Jersey to be proposed for the NPL: The UNITED STATES AVENUE BURN site consists of three areas of contamination, the Burn Area, the Burn Landfill, and the railroad track, which are located on contiguous properties west of Bridgewood Lake in Gibbsboro.

From the mid 1800's to 1967, John Lucas & Company operated a paint manufacturing facility at a separate location in Gibbsboro. The Lucas manufacturing operations were acquired by the Sherwin-Williams Company in 1967, which operated the facility until its closure in 1977. The Burn Area was used as disposal and burn site for paint wastes generated at the manufacturing facility. The Burn Landfill was used for the disposal of paint wastes, municipal waste and the storage of sludge generated from the former paint manufacturing facility's wastewater treatment plant.

The initial investigation of the site, which was conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in May 1994, which confirmed contamination from paint waste in soils and sediments in the nearby White Sand Branch stream. In response to these findings, Sherwin-Williams installed a fence around the visible waste associated with contamination.

During investigations of the Burn Area and Burn Landfill, EPA notified the Sherwin-Williams Company of the existence of discolored soils along a section of the Railroad Track. Subsequent investigations confirmed the presence of paint wastes disposed of at the location of the railroad track adjacent to the site. In September 1995, EPA entered into an Administrative Order of Consent agreement with the Sherwin-Williams Company to perform a Removal Action Investigation of the U.S. Avenue Burn site. Paint waste, soil, surface water and sediment samples were collected from numerous locations across the site to further characterize the extent of contamination. Inorganic hazardous substances were detected in waste, soil and sediment at the site.

The MIDDLESEX SAMPLING PLANT (MSP) site consists of radioactive materials identified in three areas: the Middlesex Municipal Landfill (MML) Pile, the Vicinity Property (VP) Pile and Facility Soils. The MSP was established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) for sampling, storing and shipping radioactive ores. During the operating years at the MSP, the buildings and soils on the MSP and vicinity land parcels were contaminated with radioactive hazardous substances. In 1967, all activities at the MSP were terminated. In 1980, it was determined that the control of the contamination associated with the MSP would be managed under the United States Department of Energy (DOE).

The MML pile is comprised of radioactive material excavated from the MML. The MML is a landfill owned by the Town of Middlesex and was primarily used for the disposal of municipal wastes. Radioactive wastes originating from the MSP were disposed of at the MML. The excavation of radioactive material from the MML was completed in 1986. The VP pile consists of radioactive soil and material excavated from vicinity properties and a drainage ditch to the south of the MSP. The vicinity properties and the drainage ditch were contaminated from MSP operations. The Facility Soils portion of the site consist of soils situated on the MSP property that have become contaminated with radioactive hazardous substances from the MSP operation. A significant portion of the MSP is covered by contaminated soils that extend to depths of nearly five feet.

Beginning in 1980, DOE conducted investigation studies and environmental surveillance monitoring to delineate the nature, extent, fate, and transport of contaminants. Numerous environmental samples have been collected from surface soil, soil boring, ground water and surface water/sediment sampling locations situated across the MSP. The analytical results of the radiochemical and chemical testing completed at the MSP have indicated the presence of hazardous substances in soil, ground water and surface water/sediment across the site.

EPA will be working on the cleanup of the site in cooperation with DOE and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

EPA is soliciting public comments on its proposed listing of these sites on the NPL which was published in the Federal Register today. The publication starts a 60-day public comment period. Members of the public interested in obtaining copies of the notice, an updated NPL list or site descriptions and commenting on the proposed addition, please contact the RARA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810. Further information about the site and the Superfund program can also be obtained from EPA's homepage:

NOTE TO EDITORS: Reporters should contact Rich Cahill at (212) 637-3666 for the above information.

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: