Feb 13, 2008

EPA to Oversee Contaminant Removal from New Jersey Superfund Site

System will begin in late February and will be completed in the fall

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will oversee the construction of a system to remove contamination from groundwater under the Metaltec/Aerosystems Superfund site in Franklin Borough, N.J. EPA hosted a public session this week to discuss the construction of the system, which will begin in late February and will be completed in the fall.

“The construction of this pump and treat system marks a major milestone in the cleanup of the site,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “We’ve already addressed the root causes of the contamination in the ground water and now we’re eager to get started on cleaning it up.”

The Metaltec/Aerosystems Superfund site, located in a residential area, was once home to a manufacturing facility that produced a variety of metal products. In the early 1980s, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) sampled the facility’s wastewater lagoon and surrounding soils and found volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals. These contaminants had leached from the lagoon into the surrounding ground water. As a result, the Franklin water supply well and contaminated private wells were closed and affected residences were then connected to the borough’s primary water supply.

To date, EPA has excavated over 19,000 cu yd of soil contaminated with VOCs. Additionally, an alternate water supply for Franklin was provided to replace lost drinking water capacity. The remedy selected to treat the groundwater at the site includes extracting the contaminated groundwater and using a technique called air stripping to remove the VOCs. The remaining contaminants will be removed by carbon adsorption--a treatment system that removes contaminants from water by forcing it through tanks containing activated carbon, which attracts certain contaminants.