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EPA to Hold Public Meeting on Two Superfund Sites in Camden (Martin Aaron and Welsbach/General Gas Mantle Contamination)

Release Date: 7/25/2005
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For Release: Monday, July 25, 2005

(#05085) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public input on its cleanup plans for both the Martin Aaron and the Welsbach/General Gas Mantle Contamination Superfund sites. For the Martin Aaron site, EPA is proposing to excavate and dispose of highly contaminated soils that contain arsenic and volatile organic compounds off- site. For the Welsbach/General Gas Mantle site, EPA has previously met with Gloucester City residents to explain that the wetlands, water bodies and sediments at the Welsbach site do not pose a radiological threat to people or the environment, and do not require any cleanup. EPA is now taking this opportunity to explain its proposed plan to the residents of Camden.

"Cleaning up contaminated sites in the Camden area will assist local leaders in their mission to revitalize this city," said Acting Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "Citizen input is vital to the rejuvenation of communities and I encourage the community to voice their opinions."

The excavated soil would be treated, if necessary, prior to disposal. These soils act as a continuing source of ground water contamination. In addition, contaminated ground water will be collected and treated on-site before discharge to the publicly-owned treatment works.

The 2.4 acre Martin Aaron site was the location of several drum reconditioning facilities that operated on South Broadway in Camden from 1968 to 1998. From 1987 to 2001, EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) conducted numerous investigations that led to the indictment and conviction of Martin Aaron, Inc. and its president, Martin Aaron, on charges of improper disposal of hazardous waste. EPA and NJDEP have removed and disposed of approximately 750 drums of chemical wastes, over 10,000 empty drums and several storage tanks.

EPA will explain the proposed cleanup remedy for Martin Aaron, as well as review its proposal on the Welsbach site, at a public meeting on July 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority Auditorium, 1645 Ferry Avenue in Camden. Written and oral comments for both sites will be taken at the meeting.

Copies of Martin Aaron site-related documents and the proposed cleanup plan are available for public review at the Camden Free Public Library, 418 Federal Street, phone: 856-757-7640 and at EPA's New York City office. Written comments can be submitted during the public comment period of July 15 to August 15, 2005 to Mark Austin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866 or via e-mail at austin.mark@epa.gov.

The public comment period for the Welsbach site has been reopened and comments may be submitted to Rick Robinson, Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866 or via e-mail at robinson.rick@epa.gov from July 26 to August 2. Copies of site-related documents are available for public review at the City of Camden Main Library, 418 Federal Street; phone: 856-757-7650.