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EPA Marks the Final Phase of Cleanup Work at the General Color Site

Release Date: 01/20/2006
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(#06002) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg today joined state and city officials and members of the community in Camden, New Jersey to highlight the final phase of cleanup work at the General Color hazardous waste site. Recently, through a creative public/private partnership, a private developer demolished buildings on the site, and EPA is now removing lead-contaminated soil from the locations where the buildings once stood. When this phase of work is completed, EPA will have spent over $9 million to clean up the site.

"Our work at General Color is really an example of Superfund at its best," said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. "We partnered with nonprofit and private organizations within the community, as well as local and state government, to clean up a century of contamination and make the property safe for redevelopment."

The General Color site is an abandoned pigment and dye manufacturing facility located at 31st and Lemuel Streets in Camden, New Jersey. In March 1998, at the request of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, EPA inspected the site. The agency discovered tanks, vats, cylinders and thousands of containers of hazardous substances located throughout the site, and also found that it was easily accessible by the public. EPA began to remove hazardous chemicals from the site shortly after the inspection, and by the end of the year the agency had removed all containers of hazardous substances. In 2000, EPA discovered that the soil at the site was contaminated with lead, and that large areas of the site contained buried hazardous waste. The agency excavated more than 70,000 tons of contaminated soil and hazardous waste, and removed this material from the site. EPA used a special treatment process on the excavated material before it was shipped off-site. This allowed the agency to dispose of the material as a non-hazardous waste, and to-date save almost $3 million in waste transportation and disposal costs.

In March 2004, EPA entered into an agreement with a developer, Westfield Acres Urban Renewal Association II, LP, to redevelop the site. The agreement allows construction of affordable housing on the site after the demolition of the buildings by the developer and removal by EPA of the contaminated soil and buried hazardous waste located in the building footprints. EPA anticipates completing its cleanup activities this spring.

For information about the Superfund program, please visit the EPA Web site at: