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EPA Seeks Public Input on Cleanup Plan for Lightman Drum Co. Superfund Site in Winslow Township, New Jersey; Contamination Closed Down Public and Private Drinking Water Supplies

Release Date: 06/17/2011
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez, 212-637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a proposed plan to remediate soil at the Lightman Drum Co. Superfund site in Winslow Township, Camden County, New Jersey that is contaminated with volatile organic compounds. Drums of industrial waste were emptied into a pit at the rear of the Lightman Drum property before being sent to another location to be cleaned. The soil and ground water are contaminated with the volatile organic compounds tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, which are harmful contaminants that can easily evaporate into the air. There are seven public drinking water supply wells and numerous private wells within four miles of the 15-acre site. They have all been taken out of use to protect people’s health. Area residents have been connected to a municipal water supply that provides a safe source of drinking water. The site falls within the New Jersey Pinelands Protection Area.

Because of the nature and complexity of the contamination at the site, EPA divided the investigation and cleanup into two phases. The plan announced today is the second of the two phases of the cleanup. EPA will hold a public meeting to explain the proposed plan for the second phase and receive comments on June 22, 2011.

“Making sure that people have a safe source of drinking water is one of EPA’s top priorities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “By reducing the amount of contamination in the soil, EPA is keeping the contaminated soil from further polluting ground water and from affecting the source of drinking water in the surrounding community. EPA encourages public input on the proposed plan.”

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection found that the soil and underlying ground water at the Lightman Drum site was contaminated with volatile organic compounds. In May 1999, the state of New Jersey asked EPA to evaluate the site for possible inclusion on the federal Superfund list. The site was added to the federal Superfund list in 1999.

During the first phase of the cleanup, EPA is focusing on the investigation and cleanup of the ground water. EPA will use a technology called air sparging to reduce the contamination in the ground water. Air sparging is the process of injecting air directly into the contaminated ground water. As the air bubbles rise, the volatilized contaminants are carried up into the soil and removed by an extraction system that collects the vapors. Additionally, ground water use at the site has been restricted until it meets water quality standards.

In the second and final phase of the cleanup, EPA will remediate the soil on the site. Most of the contaminated soil was removed in 2007, but soil in a small portion of the site remains contaminated. EPA is proposing to clean up the soil using a soil vapor extraction system. This system removes harmful chemicals from soil by extracting them in vapor form with a vacuum and then filtering the vapors through carbon filters to remove contaminants. EPA’s cleanup goal is to reduce the concentrations of the chemicals in the soil until they reach levels that will no longer contaminate the ground water.

EPA is requesting public comments on the proposed plan for the second phase and will hold a public meeting to explain the plan and receive comments at 6:30 p.m. on June 22, 2011 at Municipal Building, 125 South Route 73, Braddock, NJ. Comments will be accepted until July 11, 2011.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:
Ms. Renee Gelblat
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 2
290 Broadway – 19th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007-1866
212-637-4414
gelblat.renee@epa.gov

The EPA has a web page on the site at: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/lightmandrumcompany

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