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Sherwin Williams Site in Gibbsboro Queued Up for Superfund Cleanup

Release Date: 04/18/2006
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(New York, NY) An area surrounding the former Sherwin Williams paint factory in Gibbsboro, New Jersey will become one of the most recent additions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). A residential area near the facility, Hilliards Creek, and the Gibbsboro Nature Preserve are contaminated with lead, volatile organic compounds, and semi-volatile organic compounds related to activities at the former plant.

“EPA has already taken action to make sure that no one comes in contact with contamianted sediment or water near the Sherwin Williams facility,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “By placing this site on the National Priorities List, EPA will continue to make progress through the Superfund program and get this site cleaned up.”

The plant operated from 1849 to 1976 and manufactured primarily white lead paints, varnishes, and lacquer. The John Lucas Company owned the plant from 1849 to approximately 1930, when Sherwin Williams acquired control of the company. In 1981, the property was purchased to develop a light industrial complex, “The Paint Works Corporate Center,” on the site. While the current owner was developing the property, contractors identified contamination seeping out of the ground. Investigations into the source of the pollution revealed that ground water underlying the former plant and soil surrounding former structures at the plant, such as above ground storage tanks and buildings, are contaminated.

Analysis of soil and sediment samples collected from Hilliards Creek and the creek’s flood plain found lead contamination on a residential property and in the flood plain and lead-contaminated sediment in the creek for a distance of approximately 4,200 feet. Contaminated sediments were also documented in wetlands associated with Hilliards Creek. The creek flows through residential areas and the Gibbsboro Nature Preserve, which includes walking trails for area residents.

EPA has already constructed a fence around areas in Hilliards Creek containing contaminated sediment and removed contaminated soil from one residential property. In addition, Sherwin Williams has taken numerous actions to address contamination at the former plant site.

For more information about EPA's Superfund program, please visit: