New Jersey has earned an unfortunate distinction of having more Superfund sites than any other state in the U.S. Superfund sites are areas designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as highly toxic, and a number of these sites are located in Camden County. The consequences of hazardous waste having been dumped in New Jersey are real and should not be ignored. Harmful pollutants have entered residents’ drinking water and affected people’s health.
Historically, during the Industrial Revolution, New Jersey was a front-runner in production. Many factories were located within the borders of the small state. During that time of high production, there were few, if any, environmental regulations. When hazardous waste is recklessly dumped or improperly disposed of, it can seep into the groundwater. Manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills, and mining sites are all known to leach toxic chemicals into the groundwater. That is why Congress established the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980, informally called Superfund.
Superfund enables the federal environmental regulatory authority to clean up contaminated sites when a responsible party cannot be identified. New Jersey has more Superfund sites than any other state, with a total of 113 Superfund sites. Second on the list is California, with 98 Superfund sites. However, considering the size of California compared to the size of New Jersey, it stands to reason that every New Jersey resident is living near toxic waste.
In Camden County, there are at least nine Superfund sites, and hundreds of non-Superfund sites that have been designated as contaminated. The GEMS Landfill in Gloucester Township contains municipal and industrial waste that was indiscriminately dumped between 1969 and 1980. In Gibbsboro and Voorhees, decades of discharge from Sherwin Williams stretch for a mile before discharging into Kirkwood Lake. Also in Gibbsboro, paint was dumped into the ground and burned, resulting in the United States Avenue Burn Superfund site.
In Camden, there are several Superfund sites including six public wells known to be contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) since the 1970s. A number of steel drum reconditioning companies contaminated the soil with arsenic, VOCs, and more. The Welsbach Company and General Gas Mantle Facility produced radioactive waste up until the early 1940s, which was used as fill in areas throughout Gloucester City and Camden.
In Winslow, the King of Prussia Technical Corporation improperly disposed around 15 million gallons of hazardous waste over a 10-acrea area in the early 1970s, until the site was abandoned. In Pennsauken, a chemical reclamation facility, known as Swope Oil & Chemical Company, improperly disposed of solvent, oil, paint, and other chemical compound waste. Both the soil and groundwater are highly contaminated. Similarly, in Berlin, the Lightman Drum Co. operated in a 15-acre area resulting in groundwater contamination.
If you or someone you love has become ill as a result of exposure to environmental toxins, the Pennsylvania and South Jersey environmental contamination lawyers at Williams Cedar can help. We can help you hold the responsible parties accountable and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 856-470-9777 or 215-557-0099 or contact us online. With offices in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.