FORMER KIL-TONE COMPANY
On this page:
- What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- Activity and Use Limitations
- Emergency Response and Removal
On related pages:
The former Kil-Tone Company manufactured arsenic-based pesticides from the late 1910s to the late 1930s at a facility which was located at 527 East Chestnut Avenue in a mixed use area within the City of Vineland, Cumberland County, NJ.
Elevated concentrations of arsenic and/or lead have been identified in soil on the former facility property itself, at various residential and non-residential properties surrounding the former facility, in sediment and surface water in the Tarkiln Branch of the Maurice River, in soil at properties located within the floodplain of the Tarkiln Branch, and in groundwater.
The site was added to the National Priorites List (NPL) on April 5, 2016 and is currently being addressed in four parts, or Operable Units (OUs)heOU1 addresses site-related soil contamination at residential properties in the vicinity of the former Kil-Tone facility. A cleanup plan for these properties was selected in a September 2016 Record of Decision (ROD) and cleanup work is ongoing. OU2 addresses site-related soil contamination at non-residential properties in the vicinity of the former facility property, plus the former facility property itself. A ROD selecting a cleanup plan for these properties was signed in September 2019 and design of the cleanup is underway. OU3 of the site relates to groundwater, and investigation activities associated with OU3 began in spring 2019.
The Tarkiln Branch and associated floodplains will be addressed under OU4of the site; investigation activities associated with OU4 were initiated in spring 2020.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) collected soil and groundwater samples at the site in August 2014. Their discovery of high concentrations of arsenic and lead in the soil at the former Kil-Tone property as well as at several nearby properties prompted the referral of the site to EPA for additional investigation in November 2014.
EPA conducted soil sampling at residential properties located adjacent to the former Kil-Tone property in January and February 2015 and determined that several residential properties had elevated arsenic and lead concentrations. Arsenic was found within the top two feet of soil on residential properties at concentrations as high as 1,000 parts per million (ppm), and lead was found at concentrations as high as 2,500 ppm. Based upon the elevated arsenic and lead concentrations in the soil at properties closest to the former Kil-Tone property, in June 2015, EPA expanded the soil sampling to include additional properties to further delineate the site. EPA also conducted limited investigations of the surface water and sediment of the Tarkiln Branch of the Maurice River, of residential properties located adjacent to the tributary and its floodplain and of groundwater.
The site was added to the NPL on April 5, 2016.
From 2015 to 2016, EPA completed an interim removal action to reduce exposure to arsenic and lead contaminated soil at a subset of the properties that have the highest concentrations of arsenic and lead in the surface soil, until a more permanent action can be completed. These activities included the placement of topsoil and sod at 26 properties in the vicinity of the former facility as well as an additional 6 properties in the floodplain of the Tarkiln Branch, with instructions to property owners and/or residents to not disturb this layer until a permanent remedy could be implemented, the placement of fences to restrict access, where necessary, and paving over portions of the former facility intself to prevent further migration of contamination in the interim.
A Record of Decision (ROD) for contaminated soil at residential properties in the vicinity of the former Kil-Tone Company property, called Operable Unit 1 (OU1), was signed on September 12, 2016. The decision contains the following plans to address contamination: 1) removing contaminated soil located at residences that have been impacted by the former Kil-Tone Company facility; 2) disposing of soil at facilities licensed to handle the waste; 3) backfilling the excavated areas with clean soil; 4) replanting with vegetation, if appropriate, and restoration of properties; and 5) monitoring during soil cleanup to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup and protection of the community. The ROD estimated that approximately 57 properties would be addressed as part of OU1 and the primary contaminants of concern at the site are arsenic and lead.
A ROD for OU2, which addresses non-residential properties in the vicinity of the former Kil-Tone facility, was signed on Septemnber 30, 2019. The OU2 remedy includes excavation of an estimated 57,800 cubic yards of soil contaminated with arsenic and lead from approximately 40 properties, including the former facility itself, to a depth not to exceed the groundwater table; off-site disposal of excavated soil; backfilling of excavated areas with clean fill; and restoration of the affected properties.
Investigation activities for OU3 of the site, which addresses groundwater, were initiated in spring 2019, and the investigation of OU4, which addresses surface water, sediment and floodplain soil, was initiated in spring 2020.
What Is the Current Site Status?
Operable Unit 1:The cleanup of an initial six residential properties was completed from October 2017 to June 2018. An additional 26 properties were fully addressed from October 2018 through May 2020. Additional sampling is required to finalize the design of the remaining OU1 properties and cleanup work is expected to resume in 2021.
Operable Unit 2: Design of the remedy to address non-residential properties in the vicinity of the former facility was initiated in September 2019 and is expected to be complete in 2023.
Operable Unit 3: The remedial investigation/feasibility study for groundwater was initiated in 2017 and a decision regarding how to address groundwater is expected in 2022.
Operable Unit 4: The remedial investigation/feasibility study for surface water, sediment and floodplain soil was initiated in March 2020.
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.
No formal activity or use limitations have been issued. However, community updates are being issued with new and relevant information for residents in the area, including precautions to take in order to reduce exposure to arsenic and lead in soil.
Common activities that may increase potential exposure to contamination are:
• Eating without first washing hands and face.
• Eating unwashed vegetables grown in contaminated soils.
• Children playing in contaminated bare soil.
• Gardening or digging in contaminated bare soil.
Following these steps can reduce potential exposure to arsenic and lead contamination that may be present in the surface soils:
• Wash children’s hands frequently, but especially after playing outside, before they eat, and before bedtime. Adults should also wash hands frequently.
• Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables, especially those grown in soils in yard.
• Place washable rugs at all entries to home. Leave shoes at door to prevent contaminated soil from being tracked into home.
• Clean your home weekly to keep it as dust free as possible. Clean floors, window sills, doorframes, and baseboards with soap and water. Use a vacuum with HEPA filter for cleaning.
• Keep children away from bare soil areas; mulch bare soil areas; and maintain grass cover.
Emergency Response and Removal
From 2015 to 2016, EPA completed an interim removal action to reduce exposure to arsenic and lead contaminated soil at a subset of the properties that have the highest concentrations of arsenic and lead in the surface soil, until a more permanent action can be completed. This consisted of the placement of six inches of topsoil and a layer of sod on top of 26 properties, with instructions to property owners and/or residents to not disturb this layer until a permanent remedy could be implemented, additional measures at 6 properties in the floodplain of the Tarkiln Branch, the placement of fences to restrict access, where necessary, and paving over portions of the former facility intself to prevent further migration of contamination in the interim.