The Sherwin-Williams Co. will pay an estimated $21 million to cleanup a superfund site in Gibbsboro that was previously used as a paint waste dump for a nearby, former manufacturing facility.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that per a finalized consent decree with the company to remove lead and arsenic contaminated soil and sediment, Sherwin-Williams will also pay nearly $1.5 million toward reimbursing the EPA’s past costs related to the United States Avenue Burn Superfund site, and two additional superfund sites in the state where the company is also performing clean-up work.
The consent decree was entered on April 16, the EPA said. The agreement also dictates that Sherwin-Williams pay any future response costs in the overseeing of the work to be performed.
The plan calls for soil to be removed from the site and disposed of properly. Once completed, excavated areas will be filled with clean soil and replanted to restore vegetation. The EPA said that contaminated soil underneath United States Avenue will remain undisturbed, with the roadbed and asphalt preventing exposure.
According to EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez, work at the site will ultimately see the removal of about 60,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. “EPA is engaging the responsible party constructively to make this community whole and protect people’s health,” Lopez said in a prepared statement.
According to reports sited by the EPA, paint waste and solvents were dumped onto the ground at the site and often burned, contaminating the soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water. Work has already begun at the site to address immediate risks.
The restricted area at the site measures 13 acres and also includes portions of White Sand Branch, Honey Run Brook and the area of railroad tracks near Bridgewood Lake. As such, cleanup will also require excavation of contaminated settlement from the streams, both of which will both be restored following excavation. The EPA said it will continue to monitor surface water to ensure water quality standards are upheld.
The other Sherwin-Williams sites are the Route 561 Dump site and the Sherwin-Williams/Hilliards Creek Superfund site.
The agency said previous work at the three sites, which was ordered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA, has removed 8,096 cubic yards of sludge from a former lagoon area, removed 44,785 gallons of liquid waste, installed a soil vapor extraction treatment system to reduce volatile organic compounds in soil near two former plant buildings, installed fencing to limit access to specific source areas, and started soil cleanup at residential properties, which is ongoing.
The EPA is requiring that deed notices be placed on certain properties to govern how the land may be managed in the future in order to limit exposure to contaminated soil. The agency said it will conduct a review every five years to ensure the cleanup’s effectiveness.
Concurrent with the cleanups, Sherwin-Williams is also conducting studies to address the former paint manufacturing plant and waterways of its Hilliards Creek site. The EPA said it expects a feasibility study identifying cleanup alternatives will be completed in the summer, with remedy selection in late 2019. The agency also anticipates an investigation of bodies of water – including parts of Silver Lake, Hilliards Creek and all of Kirkwood Lake and Bridgewood Lake – will be completed in 2019, with remedy selection in 2020.