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EPA Proposes Sub-Surface Soil Cleanup for Contamination at D’Imperio Superfund Site in Hamilton Township

Release Date: 12/10/2002
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(#02128) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public input and will hold a public meeting tomorrow on its proposal to clean up chemically-contaminated soil below the surface at the D’Imperio Superfund site in Hamilton Township. The original plan called for capping the soil with a protective cover. The site was contaminated by volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and phenols from partially buried and ruptured metal drums illegally dumped there in the mid-1970's. The drums were in a 1-1/2 acre portion of the 15-acre site, which is where the sub-surface soil contamination is located.

“By cleaning the soil, EPA will clean up the property in a way that is more protective and cost-effective than capping,” EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny noted. “It will allow for the unrestricted future use of the site after the last phase of cleanup is completed,” Ms. Kenny said.

A 1999 evaluation of the sub-surface soils concluded that these soils are a continuing threat to local ground water and that capping the area with a protective cover is no longer appropriate. The Agency is proposing to use a soil vapor extraction (SVE) technology to expeditiously remove unsafe concentrations of volatile organic compounds in sub-surface soils as the last phase of cleanup at the site.

SVE technology was not widely used at Superfund sites when the capping plan was selected for the D’Imperio site in 1985. SVE removes contaminated soil vapors using a vacuum and a system of underground wells that pulls the contaminated vapors to the surface. The vapors are then treated in an activated carbon unit. EPA estimates that the approximately 7,600 cubic yards of contaminated sub-surface soil that remain at the site can be effectively treated for less than $300 thousand. It will take about five months to build the treatment system.

If the proposed change in the sub-surface soil remedy is made final, EPA will begin negotiations with the private responsible parties to undertake the design, construction and operation of the cleanup system.

In 1987, EPA excavated and removed 3,900 cubic yards of contaminated waste and soil, as well as drums from the D’Imperio site. Under the terms of a Superfund Unilateral Order issued by EPA in August 1993, private responsible parties paid for an investigation into the extent and nature of the ground water contamination at the site.

The construction of a $15 million ground water treatment system at the site to extract contaminated water, treat it on site, then reinject clean water back into the ground was financed by private responsible parties under the terms of the EPA Unilateral Order. These parties are also financing the operation and maintenance of the system until state standards for ground water quality are met. EPA has scheduled a public meeting at the Main Meeting Room at the Town Hall in Hamilton Township at 6101 Thirteenth Street in Mays Landing starting at 7:00 p.m. on December 11, 2002 to discuss the proposed change in the final cleanup plan.

Site-related documents, such as the proposed plan for the sub-surface cleanup, are available for public review at the Hamilton Township Clerk’s office in May Landing (609) 625-1511. The public comment period on the proposed change ends December 20, 2002. Written and oral comments can be submitted at the public meeting or mailed to: Michael Zeolla, Remedial Project Manager, EPA, Region 2, 19th Floor, 290 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10007-1866.