Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

FORMER KIL-TONE COMPANY
VINELAND, NJ

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The Former Kil-Tone Company site is located at 527 East Chestnut Avenue in a mixed use area within the City of Vineland, Cumberland County, NJ. The former Kil-Tone Company manufactured arsenic-based pesticides from the late 1910s until the late 1930s. Specific compounds manufactured by the company included lead arsenate, London purple, Paris green, and copper lime calcium arsenate dust. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, arsenicals like these were common pesticides used in agriculture.

Elevated concentrations of arsenic and/or lead have been identified in soil on the property itself and at various residential and commercial properties surrounding the former Kil-Tone Company property, 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 NPL on April 5, 2016. Based upon an extensive investigation of the contamination in residential soils, a Record of Decision (ROD) for the residential properties, called Operable Unit 1 (OU1), was signed on September 12, 2016. This ROD documents EPA's selection of a plan to clean up contamination at the residential properties in the vicinity of the former Kil-Tone property.

Investigations have also been conducted at commercial/industrial properties in the vicinity of the former Kil-Tone facility, and a proposed cleanup plan was released for public review and comment on July 30, 2019. The commercial/industrial properties are being addressed as Operable Unit 2 of the site. Groundwater is being addressed as Operable Unit 3, and investigations began in the spring of 2019. The Tarkiln Branch and associated floodplains will be addressed under Operable Unit 4 of the site.

 

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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. 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.

A Record of Decision (ROD) for the 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 are 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.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

 

From October 2017 to June 2018, EPA cleaned up six residential properties in the vicinity of the former Kil-Tone Company property, as part of the Operable Unit 1 remedial action. The cleanup consisted of the excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil, and the restoration of the six residential properties. In October 2018, EPA resumed cleanups at another 27 residential properties, as part of the Operable Unit 1 remedial action. The cleanups are expected to be on-going through 2019.

EPA completed a Remedial Investigation related to the non-residential properties near the former Kil-Tone property as well as the former Kil-Tone property itself. Soil sampling took place at these commercial and industrial properties to further delineate contamination in the area. A  Feasibility Study has been developed to evaluate potential alternatives for addressing contamination at these non-residential properties, and a Proposed Plan outlining EPA's preferred remedial alternative was released for public review and comment on July 30, 2019. A public meeting will be held on August 13, 2019 and the public comment period ends on August 28, after which the OU2 remedy will be selected in a Record of Decision .

Investigations are underway in the vicinity of the former Kil-Tone property to determine the extent of site-related contamination in groundwater. These investigations began in the spring of 2019 and are ongoing.


EPA will also be conducting an assessment of the Tarkiln Branch to determine the extent of contamination in the surface water, sediment, and soil adjacent to the branch. This information will be used to help EPA determine next steps for the branch itself and the residential properties adjacent to it.


 

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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.

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 exposure 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.

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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.

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