Former N.J. Pesticide Site Added to Superfund List

     (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency added a former New Jersey pesticide plant to the Superfund list of the country’s most hazardous waste sites.
     Since its creation in 1980, the EPA’s Superfund program has allocated money to residents who live in contaminated areas by determining liability among responsible parties for cleanup costs, according to the agency’s website.
     The Superfund program’s National Priorities List contains 1,328 sites, with the former Kil-Tone Company site in Vineland, N.J., joining its ranks Wednesday.
     Kil-Tone made arsenic on the property at 527 East Chestnut Ave. from 1917 to 1933, changing its name to Lucas Kil-Tone in 1926, the EPA said.
     An unrelated business that is still active occupies the site now. The EPA says a 2014 investigation of the site by New Jersey found high concentrations of arsenic and lead in the soil and groundwater.
     Arsenic is a known carcinogen that causes serious health problems; lead is a toxic metal that causes learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children, and adverse health effects in adults, the EPA notes.
     After testing 79 nearby residences, the EPA says it confirmed the area was one of “the country’s most hazardous waste sites.”
     Until the toxins can be properly removed, the EPA claims it is assisting residents to limit their exposure by creating barriers from the contamination using sod, stone and mulch.
     In addition to putting the former Kil-Tone site on its list Wednesday, the EPA proposed adding two more sites. As of April 7, there are 55 proposed sites for the National Priorities List.
     Dutchess County, N.Y., is home to one of the new sites up for consideration. The EPA says sediment within the 2-mile tidal portion of Wappinger Creek tested positive for high levels of mercury other pollutants.
     The creek is downstream from an industrial park where, for more than 180 years, businesses dyed textiles and manufactured gas plant operations, metal plating, ammunition and chemicals, the EPA said.
     Mercury causes damage to the nervous system, brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system, and once in sediment, can build up in wildlife, including fish, the EPA reports.
     The village of Wappingers Falls, and the towns of Poughkepsie and Wappinger have land affected by the pollution, the press release states.
     Another proposed Superfund site is in Dorado, Puerto Rico, where the EPA says groundwater that supplies drinking water to public wells is contaminated with solvents, which cause liver damage and an increased risk of cancer.
     Some of the wells that serve approximately 67,000 people have been temporarily or permanently closed to protect the public, the EPA reports.
     The EPA says it has yet to identify who is responsible for this pollution.

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