The EPA has put an $8.7 million plan in action to clean up contaminated soil at 57 homes near a former Kil-Tone Company site in Vineland, NJ.
The Kil-Tone plant, which operated from the late 1910s until 1933, produced specific arsenic-based compounds which included lead arsenate, London purple, Paris green, and copper lime calcium arsenate dust and commonly were used in agriculture at the time.
As a result of the pesticide production, lead and arsenic seeped into soil and ground water of nearby properties, endangering the health and safety of local residents. The former site was added to the EPA’s Superfund most hazard waste sites list in April after a lengthy investigation which found just how far the contamination had spread.
Lead is classified as a neuro toxin, and even low levels in children have been found to cause learning disabilities and behavior problems. In addition, arsenic causes health issues including cancer, according to the agency.
The city’s drinking water has not been impacted, and water supply is being monitored to ensure the water quality meets drinking water standards and is safe to consume, according to the EPA. The agency conducted soil sampling in 2015 and identified dozens of homes which had “unacceptable” levels of lead. It began preliminary cleanup efforts to reduce the potential exposure from the elevated levels of arsenic and lead at the residential properties by placing sod, stone, mulch or another barrier at the impacted areas.
“The EPA’s cleanup actions will help protect children and adults from exposure to arsenic and lead in soil at these properties,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck in a statement. “The EPA is committed to addressing the lead and arsenic contamination from the former pesticides manufacturing facility site.”
Cleanup efforts include removing and disposing of 21,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and monitoring the effectiveness of the process. The agency also will determine the precise number of residential properties that need soil remediation after additional sampling during the design phase of the project is completed. The EPA will coordinate with the property owners and/or occupants to ensure that the work is done with minimal disruption. The EPA will monitor the air near the work areas.
To read the EPA’s record of decision, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/former-kil-tone