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EPA Proposes Plan to Address Franklin Township Superfund Site; Seeks Comments from the Public on Proposed Plan
Release Date: 08/22/2001
|(#01104) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its proposed plan to address the seven parcels of land in Franklin Township in Gloucester County, New Jersey that make up the federal Franklin Burn Superfund site. Now that over 10,000 tons of contaminated soil have been removed from the parcels and the ground water underlying them meets federal standards and does not pose a risk to people or the environment, EPA proposes that no further cleanup actions are necessary. EPA welcomes public comments on its proposal and will hold a public meeting to discuss details of the plan on September 5, 2001. All public comments must be sent to the address listed below and be postmarked by September 21, 2001.
"The work that we did in years past at the Franklin Burn site has removed any serious threat to people and the environment," said William J. Muszynski, EPA Acting Regional Administrator. "We are pleased to find that no further cleanup is necessary, but we will continue water monitoring in the affected areas to be sure that no risks are posed in the future."
The seven rural sites that comprise the Franklin Burn Superfund site range in size from 480 square feet to 15,000 square feet. Five of the sites are clustered together just north of Marshall Hill Road in Franklin Township. Two sites are located several miles to the north and northeast. From the early 1960's until the 1980's, wire and other electrical components were burned at the sites to remove the plastic coating and recover copper for resale. The burning took place on open, unprotected ground, and created contaminated piles of ash and areas of contaminated soil containing hazardous substances including heavy metals like copper and zinc, as well as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) brought the first of the sites to EPA's attention in 1989, at which time EPA began investigating the extent of the contamination and, together with NJDEP, identified the six other areas at which burning had taken place. The investigations showed elevated levels of a number of contaminants at each site. From November 1992 through May 1993, EPA excavated over 10,000 tons of contaminated ash and soil from the sites. The excavated areas were then backfilled with clean soil. Shortly thereafter, monitoring wells were installed to determine whether the ground water underlying the parcels was contaminated as well. Monitoring data from the wells show that the water meets all federal health-based primary drinking water standards. EPA believes that the ground water was not seriously impacted by the hazardous chemicals that had been present in the soil because the contamination was discovered relatively quickly and because many of the contaminants, such as the heavy metals, do not travel easily through soil. EPA's proposed plan would require no further cleanup actions, but would require continued monitoring of ground water and surface water at the seven sites.
EPA encourages interested members of the public to review its proposed plan for the Franklin Burn Superfund site, and to submit written comments postmarked by September 21. The proposed plan, remedial investigation report and other documents are available at the following locations from today to September 21, 2001:
Franklin Township Library U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday Call to make an appointment: 212-637-4375
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
EPA will hold a public meeting to explain the details of its proposal and its reasons for recommending no further action on September 5, 2001, at 7 p.m. at the Franklinville Municipal Building. All interested persons are welcome.
Written comments on the proposal must be postmarked by September 21, 2001 and sent to:
Ronald Naman, Remedial Project Manager
Faxed and e-mailed comments will also be accepted, and must be received by September 21, 2001. Mr. Naman's fax number is (212) 637-4429. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
A final decision on the plan for the site will be made only after all public comments are read and considered. Changes to EPA's proposed plan may be made if public comments or additional data show that such a change would result in a better cleanup. EPA will respond to public comments in a document called a Responsiveness Summary, which will be issued at the time it makes its final decision.