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Entries in EPA chemical cleanup (1)

Thursday
Jan022014

EPA Gets Warrant In New Jersey To Cleanup Abandoned Leaking Chemical Storage Site

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has received a warrant allowing it to go in and clean up an abandoned New Jersey drum and container recycling facility that was also a wholesale industrial supplier. The site was storing numerous toxic materials and chemicals.

EPA toxic chemical cleanup at the abandoned Superior Barrel and Drum facility, a former drum and container recycling site that was also a wholesale industrial supplier in Elk Township, N.J. Photo courtesy of the EPA.

The site, formerly owned by the Superior Barrel and Drum company, located in a rural, wooded area of Elk Township, N.J., was found in disrepair with over 2,000 containers, with mostly 55-gallon drums and 275-gallon totes that could be seen from the road.

Local and Gloucester County officials discovered the facility in its deteriorated state. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and county HazMat were contacted and identified the hazardous substances.

County officials said that attempts to reach the property owner failed on numerous occasions. The owner filed for bankruptcy in 2012, but the case was dismissed due to lack of information provided by the plaintiff.

Elk Township was planning on foreclosure proceedings due to back property taxes owed, but the Gloucester County Fire Marshal’s Office recommended they hold off on the proceedings because of site conditions.

The NJDEP brought the EPA in on the project because of the size of the undertaking and the amount of resources needed.

The EPA said, “Many containers were found to be leaking, without tops, exposed to weather elements, rusted, damaged due to gunshots, stored improperly, and laying on their sides.

“Several drums and containers were found in standing water throughout the property, and many were located within the onsite wetlands. These wetlands are included in the National Wetlands Inventory, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

The EPA collected 84 samples for analysis from on-site containers, surface soil and surface water. The results found chemicals, many of them carcinogens, including benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and lead. 

“Many of these compounds were found in containers that are actively leaking onto surface soils,” added the agency.

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