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Water contamination news: USA
EPA Adds the Riverside Industrial Park in Newark, New Jersey to the Superfund List seven acre site along the Passaic River contaminated with PCBs and volatile organic compounds.
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Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664, email@example.com
(New York, N.Y. – May 21, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the Riverside Industrial Park in Newark, New Jersey to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. After a 2009 spill of oily material from the industrial park into the Passaic River, the EPA discovered that chemicals, including benzene, mercury, chromium and arsenic, were improperly stored at the site. The agency took emergency actions to prevent further release of these chemicals into the river. Further investigation showed that soil, ground water and tanks at the Riverside Industrial Park are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Benzene, mercury, chromium and arsenic are all highly toxic and can cause serious damage to people’s health and the environment. Many volatile organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals and can cause cancer in people. Polychlorinated biphenyls are chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing.
EPA proposed the site to the Superfund list in September 2012 and encouraged the public to comment during a 60-day public comment period. After considering public comments and receiving the support of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for listing the site, the EPA is putting it on the Superfund list.
“The EPA has kept people out of immediate danger from this contaminated industrial park and can now develop long-term plans to protect the community,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By adding the site to the Superfund list, the EPA can do the extensive investigation needed to determine the best ways to clean up the contamination and protect public health.”
Since the early 1900s, the Riverside Industrial Park, at 29 Riverside Avenue in Newark, has been used by many businesses, including a paint manufacturer, a packaging company and a chemical warehouse. The site covers approximately seven acres and contains a variety of industrial buildings, some of which are vacant. In 2009, at the request of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the EPA responded to an oil spill on the Passaic River that was eventually traced to the Riverside Avenue site. The state and the city of Newark requested the EPA’s help in assessing the contamination at the site and performing emergency actions to identify and stop the source of the spill.
The EPA plugged discharge pipes from several buildings and two tanks that were identified as the source of the contamination. In its initial assessment of the site, the EPA also found ten abandoned 12,000 to 15,000 gallon underground storage tanks containing hazardous waste, approximately one hundred 3,000 to 10,000 gallon aboveground storage tanks, two tanks containing oily waste, as well as dozens of 55-gallon drums and smaller containers. These containers held a variety of hazardous industrial waste and solvents. Two underground tanks and most of the other containers were removed by the EPA in 2012.
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 Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanups, rather than passing the costs to taxpayers. After sites are placed on the Superfund list of the most contaminated waste sites, the EPA searches for parties responsible for the contamination and holds them accountable for the costs of investigations and cleanups. The search for the parties responsible for the contamination at the Riverside Industrial Park site is ongoing.
EPA proposes to add Makah Reservation Warmhouse Beach dump to federal Superfund cleanup list.
Suzanne Skadowski, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-6689, firstname.lastname@example.org
(May 21, 2013 – Seattle) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to add the Warmhouse Beach dump, on the Makah Reservation, in Neah Bay, Washington, to the Superfund National Priorities List. The proposed cleanup listing includes a public comment period from May 23 through July 23, 2013.
“Adding the Warmhouse Beach dump to EPA’s Superfund cleanup list will help protect the Makah Tribe’s treaty resources and the environment along the Strait of Juan de Fuca,” said Rick Albright, Director of EPA’s Region 10 Office of Environmental Cleanup in Seattle. “The Makah Tribe welcomes EPA’s efforts to assist in the Tribe’s longstanding effort to clean up the Warmhouse Beach dump, our highest environmental priority,” said Timothy J. Greene, Chairman of the Makah Tribal Council. “We look forward to working collaboratively with EPA to finally addressing the serious environmental and health risks that the dump poses to our treaty resources and culturally significant areas.”
The Warmhouse Beach dump was a 7-acre municipal and hazardous waste dump used in the 1970s-1980s by the Makah Air Force Station and by tribal and non-tribal members until the dump was closed in 2012. Contaminants found at the Warmhouse Beach dump and in nearby creeks include polyaromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, perchlorate, metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, and dioxins. Mussels at the beaches also contain elevated concentrations of lead. The Makah Tribe referred the Warmhouse Beach dump to EPA for Superfund cleanup based on concerns about harmful substances leaching from the dump to surface waters and the tribe’s traditionally significant shellfishing beaches.
Warmhouse Beach is an important natural and cultural resource for the Makah and they have used it as a traditional summer fishing camp and for subsistence harvest of sea urchins, mussels, and steamer clams. Warmhouse Beach is also used for camping, surfing, and other recreational activities. EPA’s Superfund program investigates and cleans up complex and uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites to protect people’s health and the environment, with the ultimate goal of returning them to communities for productive use. Information on the Warmhouse Beach dump: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/cleanup.nsf/sites/warmhouse
EPA Adds the Matlack, Inc. Site in Woolwich Township, New Jersey to the Superfund List.
(New York, N.Y. – May 21, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the Matlack, Inc. site in Woolwich Township, New Jersey to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. The site is a former truck terminal at which operations included truck maintenance and truck, trailer and tanker washing. As a result of past industrial activities, the soil and ground water are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Many volatile organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals and can cause cancer in people. PCBs are chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing. Contamination from this site is impacting the Grand Sprute Run stream and nearby wetlands that have been identified among New Jersey’s most significant natural areas.
EPA proposed to add the site to the Superfund list in September 2012 and encouraged the public to comment during a 60-day public comment period. After considering public comments and receiving the support of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to list the site, the EPA is putting it on the Superfund list.
“Placing the Matlack site on the Superfund list is an important step in protecting people’s health and allowing EPA to take action to clean up the site,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By adding the site to the Superfund list, the EPA can do the extensive investigation needed to determine the best ways to address the contamination and protect public health.”
Located on Route 322 in Woolwich, New Jersey the site operated as a truck terminal from 1962 to 2001. Previous activities at the 70-acre facility included the cleanup of trucks and tankers used for transporting a variety of materials including flammable and corrosive liquids. The polluted cleaning solution was disposed of in an unlined lagoon behind the terminal building from 1962 until 1976 when Matlack Inc. began transporting the wastewater away from the site for disposal.
The lagoon was subsequently filled with a variety of demolition debris and other material. Matlack discontinued the tanker cleaning operations in November 1997, but continued to service and store vehicles at the site until 2001 when it submitted a petition for bankruptcy. Sampling has shown that the soil in several areas of the site is contaminated with volatile organic compounds and PCBs. Sediment and water in Grand Sprute Run stream are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and sampling shows that the ground water beneath the site is contaminated with the industrial cleaning chemical trichloroethylene.
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 Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanups, rather than passing the costs to taxpayers. After sites are placed on the Superfund list of the most contaminated waste sites, the EPA searches for parties responsible for the contamination and holds them accountable for the costs of investigations and cleanups. The search for the parties responsible for the contamination at the Matlack, Inc. site is ongoing. For more information about Superfund, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund.
EPA orders continued treatment of contaminated groundwater at former manufacturing Facility in Richmond, Va.
PHILADELPHIA (May 21, 2013) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an administrative settlement with Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. and LSI Corp. regarding a former circuit board manufacturing facility located in Henrico County, at 4500 S. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, Va., requiring the companies to address groundwater contaminated with volatile organic compounds.
Under an administrative order on consent, LSI Corp. which currently operates and maintains a groundwater treatment system at the facility, is required to continue to do so and implement land and groundwater use restrictions at the facility. Should LSI fail to adequately perform the work under the order, Alcatel-Lucent, the former owner of the facility, has agreed to complete the work.
Consisting of 120 acres about five miles east of Richmond, Va., the facility manufactured printed circuit boards and during its manufacturing operations, used and stored chlorinated solvents there. In 1986, during the repair of a fire main, the facility discovered releases of chlorinated solvents. The soil surrounding the fire main was excavated, pipes were replaced and a sump in the former solvent recovery area of the plant was repaired. In 1989, the large-scale storage and use of methylene chloride and 1,1,1 trichloroethane was discontinued at the facility when it was discovered that those contaminants were in the shallow groundwater table.
In 1996 a groundwater remediation system was constructed which LSI will continue to operate and maintain under the oversight of EPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ). Given that some residual contamination remains on-site, in order to protect human health and the environment, the EPA order requires a variety of land and groundwater use restrictions on the property situated over the contaminated groundwater plume unless it is demonstrated that such restrictions are not necessary to protect human health or the environment. The restrictions include: a prohibition on building any new structure, no residential use, no earth moving activities including soil excavation and drilling, and no new wells.
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