Jul 20, 2016

U.S. EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan at Former Pesticides Manufacturing Facility

Approximately 57 residences impacted by former Kil-Tone Co. site

New Jersey, contaminants, soil, groundwater, superfund site, arsenic, lead

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a plan to clean up contaminated soil at approximately 57 residences impacted by the former Kil-Tone Co. site in Vineland, N.J. Pesticides were manufactured at the now defunct Kil-Tone Co. facility, and groundwater and soil at the site, including soil in the yards of nearby homes, are contaminated with arsenic and lead.

EPA will hold a public meeting Aug. 2 to explain the proposed plan. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Gloria M. Sabater Elementary School at 301 Souteast Blvd., Vineland, N.J. Comments will be accepted until Aug. 12.

The city’s drinking water has not been impacted by the contamination. The drinking water supply is monitored regularly to ensure the water quality meets drinking water standards and is safe to consume. EPA recently sampled public water supply wells located near the former Kil-Tone Co. site for lead. None of the samples exceeded EPA's action levels. Vineland's most recent water quality report from 2015 showed levels of arsenic in the city's drinking water to be below EPA's maximum contaminant level.

“Arsenic is known to cause cancer, and lead can damage a child’s ability to learn and [cause] a range of other health problems,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “It is imperative that the contamination on residential properties is removed to protect people’s health.”

The Kil-Tone Co. manufactured pesticides, which included arsenic and lead, from approximately 1917 to 1926 on the property at 527 East Chestnut Ave. in Vineland. In 1926, the Kil-Tone Co. sold the property to Lucas Kil-Tone Co., which is believed to have continued manufacturing pesticides at the property until at least 1933. The property currently is occupied by an unrelated and active business.

Building on the work of previous investigations initiated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, EPA confirmed that soil at both the former Kil-Tone Co. property and in the yards of nearby homes had unacceptable levels of arsenic and lead. EPA advised residents in April 2015 on immediate actions they should take to reduce potential exposure to the contaminated soil in their backyards. In June 2015, EPA sampled soil at 48 additional residential properties located near the site. The agency shared the sampling results with the affected residents and businesses and held a public meeting in July 2015. In April 2016, EPA began work to reduce, in the short term, 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 plan includes removing and disposing of contaminated soil impacted by the former Kil-Tone Co. facility. The soil would be dug up and properly disposed of at facilities licensed to handle the waste. The excavated areas would be backfilled with clean soil, replanted with vegetation, if appropriate, and restored. In total, approximately 15,000 cu yd of contaminated soil will be removed. During the soil cleanup activities, monitoring will be conducted to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup. Data from residential soil sampling at 60 properties sampled for potential action have been shared with the property owners. Additional properties may require a cleanup, and under the proposed plan, EPA would determine the precise number of residential properties that would need soil remediation after additional sampling during the design phase of the project. EPA will coordinate with the property owners or occupants to ensure the work is done with minimal disruption. The agency also will monitor the air near the work areas.

In April 2015, EPA collected surface water and sediment samples along the Tarkiln Branch to the confluence with the Maurice River. Sampling results show elevated levels of arsenic and lead related to the former Kil-Tone Co. Superfund Site. The commercial soil, industrial soil, surface water, sediment and groundwater will be the subject of a future cleanup plan, along with the contaminated soil at the former Kil-Tone Co. property itself.