UNITED STATES AVENUE BURN
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The United States Avenue Burn Superfund site is located in Gibbsboro, New Jersey and is comprised of undeveloped properties, woodlands, wetlands and two small creeks. From the mid-1800s until 1977, John Lucas & Company, and eventually the Sherwin-Williams Company, operated a paint manufacturing facility at a separate property located north east of the Burn Site. Paint wastes and solvents from the paint manufacturing facililty were dumped or poured onto the ground at the Burn Site and were often burned. These activities contaminated soils, sediments, groundwater and surface water with hazardous chemicals. After immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, planning for the site’s long-term cleanup is underway.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
The Burn Site is comprised of a 12.7-acre area located east of United States Avenue and a 1.2-acre area immediately west of United States Avenue. A small portion of the 12.7-acre area was historically used as an industrial and municipal landfill known as the Landfill Area. In 1979 Sherwin-Williams removed the majority of waste from the Landfill Area pursuant to an New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Administrative Order. The perimeter of the 12.7-acre area was fenced by Sherwin-Williams pursuant to a 1995 EPA Administrative Order on Consent. The major feature of 1.2-acre area located immediately west of United States Avenue is an inactive railroad track and this area is known as the Railroad Track Area. In 1997, Sherwin-Williams removed approximately 2,000 tons of soil and debris from the Railroad Track Area pursuant to an EPA Unilateral Order. In 2017, EPA selected a long-term remedy for the Burn Site which includes excavation, transportation and disposal of 60,000 cubic yards of residually contaminated soil, and 825 cubic yards of residually contaminated sediment. In 2018, a Consent Decree was signed by EPA and Sherwin-Williams which will allow for the design and implementation of the selected long-term remedy.
What Is the Current Site Status?
By removing the waste and debris from the Landfill Area, installing fencing, and conducting excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils at the Railroad Track Area of the Site, EPA has reduced the short-term risks associated with exposure to hazardous substances.
Since 2005, the Sherwin-Williams Company, with EPA oversight, has conducted remedial investigation field sampling activities at the site. The sampling activities are designed to evaluate the nature and extent of contamination. Sampling results indicate the presence of residual levels of metals, particularly lead and arsenic, in site soils (both shallow and deep), sediments, surface water and groundwater.
In 2017, EPA issued a Record of Decision selecting the long-term cleanup approach for the site. Sampling to support the design of the long-term cleanup is ongoing through 2020.