Kirkwood Lake, other Superfund waterways finally to get cleanup

Source: Kirkwood Lake, other Superfund waterways finally to get cleanup The federal government finally has decided to clean up Kirkwood Lake and other waterways connected with the Sherwin-Williams/Lucas Paintworks Superfund Site in Camden County. The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that the next phase of the extensive Superfund site cleanup would be dredging of three contaminated lakes and one creek that span three communities — Gibbsboro, Voorhees and Lindenwold. "Hallelujah!"  was the reaction of activist Alice Johnston, head of the Kirkwood Lake Environmental Committee. The committee has clamored for years for the cleanup of Kirkwood lake, as have residents and officials from Camden County, Gibbsboro and Voorhees in New Jersey. The lake borders on Voorhees and Lindenwold and is downstream from the former paint plant site in neighboring Gibbsboro. The other contaminated waterways due for cleanup are Silver Lake, Bridgewood Lake and Hilliard's Creek. "It has been a long haul. The Superfund site dates to 1980 when it was discovered and documented, but the first testing was not done until 1999," Johnston recalled. Besides contamination, Kirkwood Lake has become very shallow and is prone to vegetation growth that the county has tried to manage through herbicide spraying. “This final decision addresses the communities’ expressed desire that we clean up contamination in these waterbodies," said acting EPA Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. He said the cleanup also will protect people "from exposure to arsenic and lead contamination in the soil and sediment while preserving valued community wetlands." An elated Camden County Director Jeffrey Nash called the EPA decision "a goal we all have been working toward for years." He credited persistence by local residents and especially by Gibbsboro Mayor Ed Campbell, who  has been pushing for clean-up of multiple sites for several decades. Past cleanup phases have focused on the Route 561 Dump Site and the United States Avenue Burn [...]