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Still No Clean-up Date for Wall-Manasquan Superfund Site

EPA trying to negotiate clean-up schedule with those "responsible" for contaminating White Swan Sun Cleaners site

Map showing Superfund site north of Atlantic Avenue
Map showing Superfund site north of Atlantic Avenue
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to negotiate a clean-up schedule with those responsible for contaminating a site in Wall, Manasquan and Sea Girt.

It's expected to cost about $19 million to clean up what's known as the "White Swan Sun Cleaners" Superfund site (see attached map), according to the EPA.

And there is still no date set for work to start.

"A precise work schedule has not been formulated," said Elias Rodriguez, an EPA Public Information Officer, in an email this week. "We do not have a completion date. Currently, the EPA is in negotiations with the parties legally responsible for the site to agree on a schedule to proceed."

An Oct. 31 EPA press release, detailing the agency's clean-up plan states:

"White Swan Cleaners and Sun Cleaners operated in the area between 1960 and 1991 and are believed to have polluted the soil and ground water with volatile organic compounds.

Vapors from the chemical contamination have seeped into some residential and commercial buildings in the vicinity. Area residents receive their drinking water from deep ground water that runs well below the layer of ground water that is contaminated. It is monitored regularly to ensure that the water is safe to drink.

The EPA has identified Bank of America as a party potentially responsible for the site and the investigation and study of cleanup alternatives was paid for and performed by Bank of America."

Rodriguez said, "The next phase for the site is called the Remedial Design/Remedial Action phase (which) includes preparing for and doing the bulk of the cleanup at the site. EPA develops the final design for the cleanup. At this time, we do not have a precise date for when this will commence."

Rodriguez' email described the site as follows:

"The White Swan Cleaners/Sun Cleaners Area Groundwater Contamination site is an area of groundwater contaminated with dry cleaning chemicals and/or their breakdown products, perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE) and cis-1, 2-dichloroethylene (cis-1,2-DCE) in portions of three municipalities: Wall Township, Manasquan Borough, and Sea Girt Borough.

Page 11 of the EPA's Record of Decision states: 'The plume of VOC contamination is approximately one mile wide and two miles long. As this groundwater contamination moves eastward, it moves downward toward a low permeability layer and spreads laterally.' Source: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/whiteswan/pdf/rod_ou1_whiteswan.pdf

Please note that there is no imminent threat to human health from the Site. There is ongoing indoor air sampling designed to identify any homes that may have unacceptable levels of PCE or TCE vapors in their basements. Of about 500 homes sampled, 34 have needed mitigation systems and these have all been installed.

Currently, the impacted groundwater is not used as a drinking water source.  The community is on public water - which is pumped from a deep aquifer and is sampled to protect public health."

To read a Nov. 1, 2013 Patch story, based on the EPA's Oct. 31 press release, click here.

To view the EPA's final cleanup plan or Record of Decision for the White SwanCleaners/Sun Cleaners Superfund site, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/whiteswan

For additional information about Superfund sites, please see:

Superfund Process (explains phases of addressing contaminated sites)
http://www.epa.gov/superfund/community/process.htm

Superfund Enforcement
http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/superfund-enforcement

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