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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published its plan for the cleanup of contaminated soil at the Sherwin-Williams/Hilliards Creek Superfund site in Gibbsboro and Voorhees, New Jersey.

The site includes a former paint manufacturing plant and the waters of Hilliards Creek which flow into Kirkwood Lake.

According to the EPA, the plant operations caused widespread contamination following decades of direct discharge of materials to Hilliards Creek from lagoons used for wastewater and paint sludge settling; improper storage and handling resulting in spills and releases; and leaking tanks.

As a result, the soil and groundwater beneath the former paint manufacturing site are contaminated with lead, arsenic and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), while sediment in and near Hilliards Creek is contaminated with lead and arsenic.

The proposed cleanup of the site includes removal of contaminated soil from approximately 33 residential properties in Gibbsboro and Voorhees. The excavated areas will be backfilled with clean soil, replanted with vegetation, if appropriate, and restored.

The agency will also conduct further sampling to assess whether similar work is required at additional properties.

This builds upon previous cleanup work at the site. Sherwin-Williams has already removed 8,096 cubic yards of sludge from a former lagoon area, removed 44,785 gallons of liquid waste, installed a soil vapor extraction treatment system to reduce the VOCs in the soil near two former plant buildings, installed fencing to limit access to some source areas and taken other steps to address the pollution.

The Superfund program aims to address abandoned hazardous waste sites and operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanup work.