NJ superfund site gets stimulus money

April 16, 2009 4:05:37 PM PDT
Word has come that the state of New Jersey is getting over $100-million in stimulus money to clean up 8 superfund sites, five of which are in South Jersey.For nearly a decade, work has been underway to remove arsenic left behind by the Vineland Chemical Company. The plant once occupied this area off Mill Road in Vineland and is now replaced by a crater of clean white sand, but its contamination spread over 55 acres tainting about 600,000 tons of soil on both sides of the road and local waterways.

Now, the EPA has announced this superfund project will get between $10-million and $25-million in stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment act.

"It's a plus for the community, we are able to put people to work and we are able to get rid of the contamination at a faster rate," Clyde Lake of the Army Corps of Engineers said.

The funds will be used hire 20 to 30 more workers and in turn expedite the cleanup any remaining arsenic from the Blackbranch Creek, Maurice River, and Union Lake in Millville, a distance of about 7 miles.

"Instead of finishing in 2013, as we originally planned to, we'll be able to finish, probably, in late 2011, early 2012," Steve Creighton of the Army Corps of Engineers said.

The Vineland Chemical Company site has been on EPA's superfund list since 1983. For more than 40 years before it closed in 1994, the plant manufactured arsenic based pesticides and herbicides for farms products.

"Arsenic is carcinogen, causes nervous system damage, liver damage, and cancer," Creighton said.

Cleaning up the effected waterways has always been part of the plan for this project, but the stimulus money will speed up the process.

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