(New York, N.Y. – Sept. 28, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed adding the former Kil-Tone Company site in Vineland, N.J. to its Superfund list of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. Pesticides were manufactured at the now defunct Kil-Tone Company facility, and groundwater and soil at the site, including soil in the yards of nearby homes, is contaminated with arsenic and lead.
“The EPA is committed to protecting residents and workers from the high levels of arsenic and lead at this site,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By adding this site to the Superfund list, the EPA moves forward in its commitment to do extensive sampling needed to determine the best way to clean up the contamination.”
Arsenic is known to cause cancer, as well as many other serious health problems. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause damage to a child’s ability to learn as well as a range of adverse health effects in adults. Even at low levels, lead in children can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
The Kil-Tone Company manufactured pesticides, which included arsenic and lead, from approximately 1917 to 1926 on the property at 527 East Chestnut Avenue in Vineland, N.J. In 1926, the Kil-Tone Company sold the property to Lucas Kil-Tone Co., a New Jersey company, which is believed to have continued manufacturing pesticides at the property until at least 1933. The property is currently occupied by an unrelated and active business.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection investigated the site in August 2014 and took soil and groundwater samples. The state’s discovery of high concentrations of arsenic and lead in the soil at the property and several neighboring residential properties prompted the referral of the site to the EPA for additional investigation in November 2014.
The EPA confirmed that soil at both the former Kil-Tone property and in the yards of nearby homes had unacceptable levels of arsenic and lead. In November 2014, the EPA sampled soil at 48 nearby residential properties and also took sediment and surface water samples along the Tarkin Branch of the Maurice River. The results show elevated levels of arsenic and lead.
The EPA has shared the sampling results with the affected residents and businesses and held a public meeting in July 2015. The EPA advised residents in April 2015 on immediate actions they should take to reduce potential exposure to the contaminated soil in their backyards.
The EPA periodically proposes sites to the Superfund list and, after responding to public comments, designates them as final Superfund sites. The Superfund final designation makes them eligible for funds to conduct long-term cleanups. The EPA received a letter from the New Jersey government in July 2015 supporting the inclusion of this site to the Superfund list.
New Jersey has 113 final sites on the Superfund list – more than any other state in the nation.
To see the Federal Register notice and supporting documents for this site, as well as other proposed and final sites, on the day of publication, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm.
With the proposal of this site to the Superfund List, a 60-day comment period will begin during which the EPA solicits public input regarding this action. For instructions to submit comments, go to: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/pubcom.htm.
Comments can be submitted, identified by Docket number EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0579 of the following methods:
http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.