Sevenson Environmental work crews at the Welsbach & General Gas Mantle Superfund Site in Camden and Gloucester City, N.J., have worked more than one million total safe man hours without a lost time accident in more than nine years of work, dating back to August 2004.
“We developed and implemented a Site Safety and Health Plan with strict guidelines for worker safety,” said Alan R. Elia, Jr., Sevenson’s President and CEO. “The focus has been on radiation safety, decontamination, personal protective equipment requirements, spill
response and emergency response. The safety of our workers and everyone connected with the project continues to be a priority.”
Health and Safety professionals and Radiological Technicians monitor workers on-site, performing air monitoring, and radiological monitoring and controls.
Sevenson is providing excavation and soil handling, transportation to disposal facilities, operation and maintenance of a transship facility, operation and maintenance of a water treatment facility, operation and maintenance of a radiological laboratory, site restoration and all radiological safety and oversight. To date, more than 210,000 cubic yards of soil have been removed from the site.
Challenges at the work site include deep excavations, water management, utility corridor work, tight working conditions of residential properties and wetland restoration.
Sevenson is participating in community relations programs to update residents and the business community on the status and progress of remedial action work, and crews are working closely with residents who require temporary relocation during remediation work.
The Welsbach Company and the General Gas Mantle Company produced gas mantles from the late 1890s to 1941. This location was the center of incandescent gas mantle manufacturing in the United States. A thorium extract was used to coat each cloth mantle so gas lamps would glow brighter. When the companies shut down in the mid-1940s, thorium contaminated soil and other radioactive materials remained. This material was used as backfill as the land surrounding the facilities was developed into communities.
In the early 1990s the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection conducted an investigation for radiological contamination. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the properties on the National Priorities List in 1996. The selected remedy includes the excavation of contaminated soil from residential, commercial and industrial properties; public areas; and roadways and restoration to pre-existing conditions.