PENNSAUKEN TOWNSHIP, N.J. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a legal agreement with SL Industries Inc. and SL Surface Technologies Inc. to perform soil cleanup and reimburse EPA’s past costs at the Puchack Well Field Superfund site in Pennsauken Township, N.J., according to a press release.

The soil to be cleaned up is contaminated with hexavalent chromium and is contributing to the pollution of groundwater at the site.

Hexavalent chromium may cause cancer and can have other serious health impacts, noted the release.

Six public drinking water supply wells near the site, which served part of Camden had to be taken out of use due to contamination.

Area residents are connected to safe sources of drinking water from other municipal water supplies, stated the release.

“Clean drinking water is a top priority for the EPA. By reducing the amount of chromium in the soil, the EPA is protecting people’s health by keeping the contaminated soil from further polluting the ground water,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “This agreement allows the remediation of the Puchack Well Field Superfund site with the cost paid by polluters, not taxpayers.”

In September 2011, the EPA issued its final plan addressing chromium-contaminated groundwater. The EPA is treating the contaminated groundwater using lactate, a nonhazardous additive that will reduce the contamination.

The cleanup work required in the agreement will cost approximately $23 million. It also requires SL Industries Inc. and SL Surface Technologies Inc. to reimburse over $10.7 million of the EPA’s past costs.

Read the entire press release here.