News Release
   
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   March 23, 2001

Christine Grant
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Dennis McGowan
609-984-7160

 

Health Assessment Released on Lightman Drum Company Site
in Camden County


TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have released for public comment a health assessment on the Lightman Drum Company site in Winslow, Camden County. The public may submit written comments on the assessment through May 11, 2001.

DHSS and ATSDR conclude in the draft assessment that the site is an indeterminate public health hazard because there is insufficient information to determine if people were exposed to site-related contamination. The agencies will reevaluate the site's potential impact on public health as new information becomes available.

The Lightman Drum Company is a 15-acre drum brokerage facility that began operations in 1974. At the time, used drums containing various amounts of thinners, paints, inks and other chemicals were brought to the site to be sorted and shipped to other locations. Drum contents were initially dumped on the ground or in an unlined pit and, in later years, were stored on site in underground tanks, tanker trailers, or other drums. These activities resulted in contamination to both soil and groundwater at the site. Today, only empty drums are brought to the site where they are crushed for scrap and sold to other companies for re-use.

At present, there is no evidence that contamination at Lightman Drum has gone beyond company grounds, however, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is installing monitoring wells to learn if on-site contamination is migrating off-site. Testing of nearby private wells by the Camden County Health Department and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has found that some wells are contaminated with volatile organic chemicals but the source of this contamination is not presently known. The private wells have received treatment systems to minimize or eliminate exposure to the chemicals.

The public is invited to submit written comments on the health assessment through May 11, 2001 to: Health Assessment Project Manager, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Consumer and Environmental Health Services, P.O. Box 360, Trenton NJ 08625-0360.

In addition to accepting written comments, DHSS and ATSDR will hold two availability sessions on Thursday, April 26, at the Winslow Township Municipal Complex. The sessions, scheduled for 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., give residents and other concerned individuals an opportunity to meet with staff and ask questions or express concerns about the site or the public health assessment privately.

Copies of the draft health assessment are available for public review at the Camden County Division of Health and the Winslow Public Library. It will be available next week on the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services web site at www.state.nj.us/health. Copies may also be obtained by calling the department at (609) 633-2043.

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