The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently worked with local and state officials in Vineland, New Jersey, to remove more than 9,700 pounds of anhydrous ammonia from the South Jersey Ice and Cold Storage and Vineland Ice and Storage LLC facility.
“The EPA answered the call when the City of Vineland asked for help with this potentially serious threat to public safety,” Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator, said. “Due to the poor condition of the refrigeration system at the facility, federal, state and local officials consulted with experts and determined that urgent action was needed to protect local residents and prevent a disaster.”
The facility has been in use since 1922, but the facility’s refrigeration system was in serious disrepair, putting workers and local community members at risk. Ammonia exposure can lead to eye, nose, throat, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract irritation or, in more serious cases, to burns, blisters, frostbite and death.
“This successful effort to remove liquefied ammonia from the structure and reduce possible health risks to nearby residents was the result of a working partnership between federal, state and local staffs,” New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said. “We thank EPA Region 2 for their leadership within a unified command through a complex removal process and we’re glad the situation has been remedied.”