Vineland

A house at Sixth Street and Chestnut Avenue in Vineland got a new lawn that helps buffer underlying soil contaminated by the former Kil-Tone Co.

VINELAND — Deep digs are completed in six homes around the Kil-Tone Superfund site here, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

More than 50 other properties must now have their soil removed to 6 feet deep, and that work will continue in the fall on an undetermined number of homes, EPA spokesman Elias Rodriguez said.

Kil-Tone and Vineland Chemical, also in this historic manufacturing city, are two of the most active Superfund sites in our region. Most others are in a long-term monitoring phase.

The Kil-Tone pesticide manufacturing plant, at 527 E. Chestnut Ave., is the newest Superfund site in our region. It was added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s federal Superfund list in 2016, after the agency found lead and arsenic contamination of groundwater and soil on and around the property.

The yards of 57 nearby homes were affected, and the EPA installed new lawns on them to contain the contaminants. The agency estimated cleanup costs at $15 million. It has spent $4.1 million to date, EPA spokesman Elias Rodriguez said.

A deep dig to remove contaminated soil from six of those properties began in November 2017 and finished June 29, Rodriguez said. The next phase of the deep dig will begin in the fall.

Arsenic causes cancer and other health problems, and lead is a toxic metal that can damage a child’s ability to learn and cause adverse health effects in adults, according to the EPA.

At Vineland Chemical, 1611 W. Wheat Road, arsenic pollution that made its way into nearby waterways is the main problem. Recontamination of exposed sediment and soil was found in the Blackwater Branch of the Maurice River in 2016.

The EPA said at the time the site would need an additional $15 million cleanup, after spending about $219.4 million on the effort since 1992.

The EPA is in the beginning stages of implementing a new treatment system there, Rodriguez said, and the total spent to date is now $221.5 million.

In 1994, the EPA reached a settlement with Vineland Chemical and its owners, who paid about $1.2 million toward the cleanup, according to the EPA. They also were required to put other properties in trust to be sold. The rest has been funded with taxpayer dollars.

Since the early 2000s, the EPA has been pumping out and treating about 2 million gallons of groundwater per day, EPA project manager Hunter Young has said.

Contact: 609-272-7219 MPost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost Facebook.com/EnvironmentSouthJersey

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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