The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed that the former Kil-Tone Company factory site in Vineland, New Jersey be added to the United States’ list of “most hazardous waste sites.” The proposal came after testing revealed both lead and arsenic in the soil around what used to be a functioning pesticide factory. If the site is accepted to the Superfund list, funding will be available to clean up the contamination.
Kil-Tone opened in Vineland nearly 100 years ago and shut down in 1933, but soil samples taken last summer found arsenic and lead in 48 neighboring, residential properties. Traces of arsenic and lead were also found in the branch of the Maurice River near the factory.
Local authorities took the samples, then reported their findings to the EPA, which authorized more testing. After the testing concluded in July, the EPA held a meeting with residents to discuss the findings and plan a temporary solution. Vineland residents have been told to limit their direct contact with the soil.
Current containment options include covering the polluted soil with a temporary cap of three inches of non-contaminated ground and seeding it. This is intended to protect local residents until the EPA decides on a permanent course of action. Residents were advised to adhere to wash local vegetable and to limit tracking soil indoors through regular house cleaning and keep shoes outdoors to prevent the arsenic and lead from having a lasting effect on individuals.
Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund), heavily contaminated sites across the country can be nominated to the EPA’s Superfund list. Once a site is on the Superfund List is can receive funding for the long-term cleanups typically requiring for contamination of such magnitude. During the nomination process, the local community is allowed to give input on whether or not the site in question deserves federal consideration. A proposed addition to the Superfund list is subject to a 60-day public notice and comment period. After 60 days, the EPA issues a ruling and either adds the site to the Superfund list or downgrades the severity of the contamination. New Jersey has over 100 sites in the Superfund program — the most of any state in the country.
New Jersey Environmental Lawyers at Michelman & Bricker Advise Clients for Successful Compliance with the New Standards in Environmental Law
New Jersey environmental lawyers at Michelman & Bricker have substantial experience representing clients in CERLCA and NJ Spill Act cost recovery actions. Our firm served as liaison counsel in several landfill litigation cases. We supervised and coordinated participation of 120 generators in an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) allocation process and conducted settlement negotiations in response to federal and state governments’ demands for $200 million in cleanup costs and natural resource damages. We also served as liaison counsel for 70 transporters in a separate landfill litigation supervising participation in an ADR process and mediation to allocate over $30 million in clean-up costs under the N.J. Spill Act. We have also represented a small business owner faced with CERCLA liability due to EPA’s remediation to remove hazardous substances associated with dry cleaners, in which we negotiated an innovative settlement through which EPA would be paid through the sale proceeds of the property.
Our team advises and represents clients on topics ranging from obtaining appropriate permits to responding to enforcement actions. We are proud to advise clients in all aspects of environmental compliance throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Please call 215-557-9440 or contact us online today to schedule your consultation at our offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.