Welsbach & General Gas Mantle (Welsbach/GCM) Superfund Site, Camden, NJ


Under a 5-year, $110 million contract through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District, a HydroGeoLogic, Inc. (HGL)-led Joint Venture (JV) consisting of HGL and APTIM Federal Services, LLC (APTIM) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (www.aptim.com) is conducting environmental remediation in support of the cleanup of the Welsbach/GCM Superfund site for the U.S. EPA, Region 3. The site includes two former manufacturing facilities as well as about 1,000 residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational properties.

Loading Railcars with Radiologically Contaminated
Soil for Disposal

The Welsbach Company and the General Gas Mantle Company made gas mantles at the site from the late 1890s to 1941. The companies used radioactive elements during production to help the mantles glow more brightly when heated. In the early 1990s, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) found elevated levels of gamma radiation at the locations of the manufacturing facilities and in many nearby residential areas. EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1996. In 1999, EPA selected a cleanup plan. The cleanup involves disposal of contaminated soil and waste materials from residential and industrial properties.

Aerial View of the Gloucester Marine Terminal

In addition to industrial and residential properties, cleanup is ongoing at the highly active Gloucester Marine Terminal (GMT), a commercial property that includes an active port, warehouses, and a logistics complex adjacent to the Delaware River. The HGL-APTIM JV’s tasks include excavating contaminated material, relocating utilities, dewatering areas and treating the wastewater, conducting radiological testing of soils and water, importing clean fill, and manifesting and shipping waste, all in coordination with shipping schedules and shipyard traffic associated with the GMT. Owing to the site’s proximity to the river, water management, logistical coordination, and climate change adaptation are significant components of the construction activities. In addition to dewatering areas and treating the wastewater using a portable wastewater treatment facility (WWTF), the HGL-APTIM JV is designing and constructing a larger, permanent WWTF. The facility is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Project Highlights
Daily coordination with the GMT to minimize the impact of remediation activities on the terminal’s operations. This is one of the busiest terminals in the United States for refrigerated goods.
Operation and treatment of over 1 million gallons of site-generated water each year for permitted discharge.
Excavation of contaminated soil around utilities, buildings, and commercial and residential properties while minimizing impact to property owners and facility operations.
Operation of a material staging and loadout facility, which includes stockpile management, railcar loading, inspection, and manifesting.