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EPA Proposes to Remove Manville, New Jersey Site from Superfund List after Successful Cleanup

Release Date: 03/07/2014
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y) After removing more than 450,000 tons of contaminated soil and cleaning up nearly 100 residential and commercial properties, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to remove the Federal Creosote Superfund site in Manville, New Jersey from the Superfund list of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites. During the 1960’s, homes and a commercial mall were built on top of contaminated land on the Federal Creosote site, which had been used for more than 30 years to preserve railroad ties by treating them with toxic levels of chemical creosote. The EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have determined that all necessary cleanup actions have been completed and the site no longer poses a threat to people’s health or the environment. The EPA will continue to monitor ground water at the site and conduct periodic reviews to ensure that the cleanup continues to be protective. The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed deletion of the site through April 4, 2014.

“When EPA began its cleanup of the Federal Creosote Superfund site, people were living in homes built directly over contaminated soil and lagoons of creosote waste,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Today, the site has been cleaned up, the risks to people’s health addressed and the community can use this once-contaminated property productively.”

The Federal Creosoting Company began using the property in 1919 to treat railroad ties and poles with creosote wood preservative. During its operation, several buildings and multiple above-ground tanks contained creosote. The creosote was discharged through two unlined canals into two unlined creosote waste lagoons. In the center of the site, lumber treated with creosote was left to drip onto the ground.

When operations at the site stopped in 1956, the 50-acre property was purchased by developers. In the early 1960s, 137 single family homes were built on 35 acres of the site as part of the Claremont Development. The remaining 15 acres were developed into the Rustic Mall. The redeveloped property was built on top of the contaminated soil and the waste lagoons and, on at least one occasion, creosote sludge seeped into a residential basement sump and was pumped out into a storm sewer.

The Federal Creosote site was listed on the Superfund list in 1999. After extensive investigations at the site, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which was brought in for its engineering expertise, approached the cleanup in three stages.

In the first phase, which began in spring 2001, the EPA addressed the buried lagoons and canals that still contained creosote and byproducts. Eighteen residential properties were acquired by the EPA and demolished in order to better reach the toxic source material, which was then excavated, treated and taken out of the area to a disposal facility. The excavation removed the major source of ground water contamination. In the second phase, which began in 2002, the EPA excavated contaminated soil containing high amounts of creosote from all residential properties in the Claremont Development. In 2005, the Rustic Mall was demolished by the mall owners and contaminated soil was removed by the EPA.

The EPA has monitored all the cleanup work performed at the site to ensure that the actions remain protective of people’s health and the environment. The ground water has been sampled since 2006 and indicates that contaminants, while present, are no longer spreading from the site into the ground water.

EPA has concluded that the cleanup work has been successful and that the site can now be taken off of the Superfund list. Ground water monitoring will continue and the EPA will conduct a review of the site every five years.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed decision to delete this site from the Superfund list. The public comment period began on March 5, 2014. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID no. EPA-HQ-SFUND-1999-0013 or by one of the following methods:

On the internet: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow on-line instructions for submitting comments.

Email:

Rich Puvogel, Remedial Project Manager

puvogel.rich@epa.gov

For further information on the Federal Creosote Superfund site, please visit: http://epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/federalcreosote/


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