Clean Soil on Marlboro Imperial Oil Superfund Site [VIDEO]
The EPA announced Monday that the Morganville site is ready to use for commercial and residential property.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that the former site of the Imperial Oil Company/Champion Chemicals in Morganville has been cleaned, after a $50 million Superfund project in action since the 90's.
“The completion of cleanup at the Imperial Oil Superfund site reinforces the success of this program,” said Congressman Frank Pallone. “The cleanups are essential to protecting the environment and the health of residents that live and work nearby, and also create good local jobs. In 2011 Superfund cleanups created about 2,300 jobs in New Jersey.”
The 15-acre property was once the site of a production, storage and maintenance oil refinery, which left behind arsenic and other toxins in the soil and groundwater.
Mayor Jon Hornik said he visited the site with his father when he was 13 years-old, and was nervous to breathe in the air or even step on the land.
"When I first came here in 1983 when my father was serving as mayor, I was nervous to be here. I didn't want to breathe the air, I was very careful about where I walked, and I couldn't wait to get out of here," Hornik said. "Today, I feel like we come to the end of a long, terrible saga."
Soil remediation removed sludge and contaminants found on and around the property, including on and around a portion of the Henry Hudson Trail.
The project was deemed a Superfund after the previous tenant of the land went out of business and could not pay for the cleanup. The project was funded through $33 million of Recovery Act funds, supplemented by Superfund money which was once filled through a government tax on oil and chemical companies.
Pallone said he is introducing a federal bill which will reinstate the tax on these companies, which would continue to fund the cleanup of sites such as Imperial Oil in Morganville.
Through the process of soil remediation, the EPA also began its second stage, which is cleaning up the groundwater in the area. 30 million tons of water have been cleaned, although not to the level of drinking water. No home in Marlboro is serviced by the site's water.
Currently, the site is zoned as both residential and commercial. Champion Chemicals has the property on the market for around $15 million right now, according to EPA officials.
The EPA also said damage to surrounding roadways from EPA trucks will be paid for and repaired by the EPA, as agreed upon by the township.
New Jersey currently has the most Superfund sites in the nation. For a complete list of sites and current EPA projects, visit the EPA website.