Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

WILLIAMS PROPERTY
SWAINTON MIDDLE, NJ

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The Williams Property site (Site) is located in Middle Township, Cape May County, New Jersey. The site is a 5.6-acre tract of wooded land containing a single residence. It is located less than three miles southeast of the Timber Beaver Swamp Fish and Wildlife Management Area, a major aqifer recharge zone, and is bordered by prime wetlands habitats.  The nearest surface water is about 400 feet northeast of the Site in the form of water-filled sand and gravel pits.  The nearest natural stream is Deep Creek, which is approximately 3,000 feet southeast of the Site.

In August 1979, about 150 drums of liquid chemical wastes and sludge were emptied on site, contaminating soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. Initial actions to protect human health and the environment included removal of contaminated soil and sludge as well as provision of public water to approximately 140 homes and businesses that were potentially affected by the Site. Subsequently, environmental investigations were performed that resulted in the implementation of the site’s long-term remedy to address contaminated groundwater. Groundwater treatment and monitoring are ongoing.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Initial environmental investigations and response actions were performed by the NJDEP in the early 1980s to address the presence of spilled drummed chemicals on the property. As a result of these investigations, it was determined that soil and groundwater were impacted.  There was an emergency spill clean-up performed in 1980 removing approximately 1200 cubic yards of soil/sludge.  In 1983/84, Middle Township provided public water to local resdiences and businesses that were potentially affected by the Site.

 

Long-term Cleanup: EPA selected a remedy in the site’s 1987 ROD. It included: (1) extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater and discharge of treated groundwater to the underlying aquifer; (2) excavation of contaminated soils and removal of the excavated soils to an off-site disposal facility for incineration; (3) backfilling the excavated area with clean soil, then regrading and revegetating the area; and (4) providing an alternate water supply to nearby residents with polluted wells.

 

EPA updated the remedy for the site’s groundwater contamination in February 1993, to include: (1) extraction of contaminated groundwater from the underlying aquifer; (2) primary treatment of the extracted groundwater by biological treatment and carbon adsorption; (3) other minor treatment processes, including the addition of hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid, an iron removal system and ultra violet disinfection; and (4) reinjection of treated groundwater to the underlying aquifer. NJDEP took the lead for the cleanup. The groundwater treatment systems began operating in 1995.

A Classification Exemption Area/Well Restriction Area (CEA/WRA) is an institutional control established in 1999 that serves to provide notice that there is groundwater contamination in a localized area caused by a discharge from a contaminated site.  Because the CEA/WRA prevents water supply wells from being drilled within the designated CEA/WRA area, its incorporation as a component of the Site remedy provides additional long-term protectiveness until groundwater standards are achieved.

There has been on-going operation, maintenance and monitoring of the performance of the groundwater treatment system since 1995.

Although the remedy is progressing towards meeting the remedial action objectives for the contaminants concern identified in the ROD, 1,4 dioxane concentrations in groundwater from monitoring/recovery wells have been detected in the 15-25 parts per billion (ppb), which exceeds the interim New Jersey Groundwater Quality Criterion of 0.4 parts per billion (ppb).  Further assessment of the extent of 1,4 dioxane will be performed.

 

 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The site is being addressed in two stages: initial actions and a long-term remedial phase focused on cleanup of the entire site.

Initial actions included the removal of approximately 1200 cubic yards of soil and sludge that resulted from spillage of drums of liquid chemicals and sludge in 1980.  In 1983.1984, Middle Township provided public water to local residences and businesses that were potentially affected by the Site.  In 1991 there was another action taken to excavate and remove approximately 1500 tons of contaminated soil as well as drums, pails and gas cylinders.

There were environmnetal investigations performed that determined groundwater was contaminated and contained concentrations of ketones {e.g. acetone, 2-butanone (MEK) and methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK)}, volatile organic compounds (e.g. methylene chloride, tetrachlolorethene (PCE) and metals( e.g. chromium, lead, nickel).  A groundwater extraction, treatment and reinjection system was designed and constructed and has been operated by NJDEP since 1995.

Much of the contamination has been removed from the site, greatly reducing the potential for exposure to hazardous materials during final cleanup activities.  Five-year reviews are conducted (the last one being performed in 2016) to evaluate the implementation and performance of the remedy to determine if the groundwater remedy is and will continue to be protective of human health and the environment.

 

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

 

A Classification Exemption Area/Well Restriction Area (CEA/WRA) is an institutional control established in 1999 that serves to provide notice that there is groundwater contamination in a localized area caused by a discharge from a contaminated site.  Because the CEA/WRA prevents water supply wells from being drilled within the designated CEA/WRA area, its incorporation as a component of the Site remedy provides additional long-term protectiveness until groundwater standards are achieved.



 

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Sampling and Monitoring

Environmental investigations performed, including sampling/analysis have established the presence of soil and groundwater contamination.  Environmental clean-up of soil involved excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and sludge.  A groundwater extraction, treatment and reinjection system has been in place since 1995 that is operated and maintained.  Extraction and monitoring well sampling/analysis are routinely performed.  Five-year reviews are conducted to evaluate the implementation and performance of the remedy.

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Emergency Response and Removal

In 1980, NJDEP conducted an emergency clean-up of the spill area that removed approximately 1200 cubic yards of soil/sludge.  In 1983/1984, Middle Township provided public water to local residents and businesses that were potentially affected by the Site.  EPA performed a removal action involving the excavation/off-site disposal of approximately 1500 tons of contaminated soil as well as removal of drums, pails and gas cylinders in 1991.

 

 

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Enforcement Information

There is currently no active enforcement activity related to the environmental clean-up at the Site

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