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EPA proposes plan for Puchack Well Field Superfund Site.

Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 announced a proposed plan to remediate soil contaminated with hexavalent chromium at the Puchack Well Field Superfund Site in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey.

The chromium is contributing to the pollution of groundwater underlying the 450,000-square-foot site, which contains six public drinking water supply wells that have been taken out of use due to health concern. Elias Rodriguez, Region 2 spokesman, reported area residents have been connected to a municipal water supply. EPA has divided its investigation and cleanup of the site into two phases, due to the complexity of the contamination, Rodriguez said.

Groundwater contamination was first detected at a limited number of wells at the Puchack Well Field in the 1970s. Subsequent testing in the early 1980s found contamination in additional wells, and by 1984, the well field was no longer used as a source of drinking water. EPA added the Puchack Well Field to the National Priorities List in 1998.

Sampling indicates that no currently operating municipal wells are being affected by the contaminated ground water. EPA has worked with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Geological Survey to investigate the site, Rodriguez reported.

The first phase of the cleanup addresses the investigation and cleanup of the chromium contaminated ground water. This fall, as part of the first phase of the cleanup, EPA will begin treating the contaminated groundwater using lactate, a nonhazardous additive that will reduce the contamination.

Treatment with lactate was selected after the EPA conducted a pilot study to test its effectiveness. The second phase of the cleanup calls for investigation and cleanup of the contaminated soil that is contributing to the hexavalent chromium groundwater contamination.

EPA is proposing to mix the soil with a nontoxic material that will convert the highly toxic hexavalent chromium into less toxic trivalent chromium. The strategy is intended to reduce levels of hexavalent chromium in the soil to prevent recontamination of the groundwater.

EPA will conduct a study to determine the type and quantity of the chemical agent to be used. Structures on the site will be demolished to provide access to the contaminated soil.

Soil samples will be collected and groundwater studied to confirm that the treatment is effective. Public comments on the second phase will be accepted until July 13, Rodriguez reported.

Contact: Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664.

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Publication:Hazardous Waste Superfund Alert
Date:Jul 14, 2011
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