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Sunoco Eagle Point Demolition Slated for Saturday

Government officials say the process is controlled and has been cleared as safe by both the West Deptford construction code official and fire marshal.

The Sunoco Eagle Point refinery in West Deptford. Credit: Bryan Littel.
The Sunoco Eagle Point refinery in West Deptford. Credit: Bryan Littel.
It's only estimated to take about two minutes to complete, but a demolition project at the Sunoco Eagle Point refinery in West Deptford has already got neighbors talking.

Slated for Saturday morning, the refinery will conduct "a controlled implosion of its fractionator...one tower and one chimney, which will last about two minutes in duration," according to a statement from the township.

The same statement notes that West Deptford Police and firefighters from the Verga and Colonial Manor Fire Departments will be on hand as a precaution.

But some residents in nearby National Park have been talking about the scheduled demolition since last week with no small bit of worry.

A closed-group Facebook post from the National Park town watch that was forwarded to West Deptford Patch warned residents to "stay inside" during the implosion.

It also encouraged them to rinse off their cars and door handles, "whatever to keep it from getting on you or being tracked into your home."

The author of the post, who was not identified, decried a lack of advance notice about the process.

As if in acknowledgment of the chatter, the statement from West Deptford government noted that the premises have been inspected by its construction code official, Phil Zimm, and fire marshal, John Austin.

Both certified that the site had been cleared of asbestos and that "no public health concern is present with this demolition," according to the statement.

"Part of that permitting process is to remediate the proposed site for the implosion of all asbestos material before any demolition can take place," the statement said.

"That remediation work was performed by Sunoco through NCM Demolition & Remediation, LP and was monitored by Accredited Environmental Technologies, Inc., which is an approved OSHA Monitor."

Stick with Patch for more follow-up, including our explainer on what's happening with the entire demolition project.
fred marz January 23, 2014 at 07:03 PM
Mr. Conaway is correct; Sunoco, at their expense, should have notified their neighbors of this procedure. In the very least, the neighbors of Verga should have had a notice well in advance.
Monique Cosgrove January 23, 2014 at 09:02 PM
Ok so the loose asbestos and wrapped pipes were removed, but a site this old more then likely is made of bricks with asbestos. When blown up this asbestos would be airborne.
Just doing what's right January 24, 2014 at 07:28 AM
It's not just the asbestos to worry about it's all the other rust and other unknown dust particles that will become airborne. Winter time the winds are usually strong. I feel for those who live downwind after the implosion. I'd stay inside just as a precaution.
Melissa Warfield Magee January 24, 2014 at 10:19 AM
I as a parent and a local resident am very, how do you say it, irate, that we were never notified of this taking place. If the township knew about this and agreed on the plans to do so, why didn't they put in a clause stating they were to notify the residents in this area????They had to notify the fire marshal and fire departments, why not their neighbors??
Ken January 24, 2014 at 11:02 AM
They did on the twp. web site
fred marz January 24, 2014 at 11:36 AM
Though I am grateful that it was announced there, adequate notice would go beyond a posting on a web page. On the street in which I live, (of 7 homes), I know of 5 cases of cancer in the last 5 years. So it is understandable, that residents would prefer information, (like this), to be over-announced rather than obscurely presented. This is not criticism directed at the township, but rather a recommendation to Sunoco, (and like companies), to better inform those around them, of events such as planned for on Saturday.
Ken January 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM
Agreed, a letter should have been sent to the surrounding homes more than 30 days prior. But the twp. did notify the residents. I thin kthe twp web site is a little antiquated at best to begin with and honestly unless you already know where to look and go there daily most residents would never know anything happening in town including leaf pick up or trash collection information.
zeke carey January 24, 2014 at 08:39 PM
there is nothing to be alarmed about.if you stay in your house you won't even hear it.it's an implosion not explosion.it'll sound like cherry bombs going off and there won't be a lot of dust the frac unit is all metal. however there was a posting in the south jersey times 3 weeks ago that the schedule date of the implosion was January 25th. there are no homes within 200 feet of the cat unit where the implosion will take place. besides OSHA is involved and that's a good thing.
Harry Knowles January 24, 2014 at 10:16 PM
So , when the place was running, the fumes were killing people. Neighbors complained about the noise, water run off, truck traffic, fires, etc. So it closes and they want to clean it up and everyone still whines? Seriously, is anyone ever happy anymore?
Harry Knowles January 24, 2014 at 10:25 PM
Sorry for your Father Nancy, but don't you think it's a different world now? You say not much you could do now at the 11th hour, just curious, if you knew 20 days ago, what would you do?
Nancy Barna January 24, 2014 at 11:03 PM
Of course, the world is different now. Things do change, but some things never do. Doing the right thing is always the right thing to do. It may not always the easiest choice, however, it is the only choice. Truth. That never changes either. I am proud to say that my parents instilled in me to be honest, help others, and always tell the truth. I have passed that on to my own children too. I had questions that I would have liked answered to the best of a person's knowledge and belief. Sometimes timing is everything, and that was so in this case. A couple more hours was all I needed, not twenty days or even one day. The business day ended. It's as simple as that. My questions will will be moot after tomorrow. That may not be right, but it is the truth. My concern is with the seniors who will have no knowledge of what is happening tomorrow. Some day we will all be old, and I would hope that someone, maybe someone we don't even know, would look out for our best interests. That wasn't able to happen, but at least I tried.
Harry Knowles January 25, 2014 at 08:33 AM
But Nancy, and honestly just trying to have conversation here, what would you tell the seniors? You might hear a noise tomorrow but don't worry they are doing demo work at the old refinery but everything is ok? How many times have you say in your house and heard noises, bangin etc and not know what they were, a lot. We all do. The point being think about what a pain constant communication would be. He is an old industrial site that is being cleaned up. As typical in this town it turns into a negative and I just don't understand it. Can you report back and tell us honestly what today was like? Thanks
Dr. Kenneth Nosewater January 25, 2014 at 08:46 AM
The sooner they clean up that site, the sooner they can put senior housing on it... Call it Riverwinds II... Just sayin
zeke carey January 25, 2014 at 08:48 AM
you have a handful of people on here that bitch and moan about every little thing that comes down the pike. oh that person died of cancer because of the refinery but yet to say that person smoked 2 packs a cigarettes a day for 45 years. smoking didn't cause the cancer the refinery did. it's not like their imploding the sears tower. osha is involved and if they thought it was unsafe then this would not be taking place today. worry about the other chemical companies in WD like solvay,johnson mathey and coim.they could be polluting our water ways but nothing is said about that.
Harry Knowles January 25, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Well it's over....... Very quiet, no dust. Really a sad day if you think about it. That facility use to pump a couple hundred million into the local economy and gone. It's going to snow today, can we get back to bitching about snow, leaves pick up and how not raising our taxes is a bad thing????
Nancy Barna January 25, 2014 at 09:30 AM
Glad you personally know everyone's medical history. Dad never smoked a day in his life, nor does anyone in our family. Secondly, the company my father worked for admitted they hid the dangers of asbestos AND the doctor's reports and chest x-rays from all of the employees affected for a refinery in another county. Millions of dollars were paid out to those affected, some died before their cases settled. That was all about lack of transparency. As far as people "bitching". Number one, I am a lady and don't use that type of language. This is only the second subject that I have posted comments in the entire time this site existed. Yes, people use it to vent. Using it to inform on a subject that has directly affected you is far more productive. We"ll need to see how things play out over the next several years. As a paralegal, I worked on multiple contamination cases. The statistics would shock you. So, you see, I m not randomly posting to complain, rather than inform. You can Google NJ Superfund an the list appears. Sunoco and Sovey Solex, among others, are on it. Here is the linkhttp://www.epa.gov/region02/waste/fscoasta.htm What's done is done...
Harold Sullivan January 25, 2014 at 03:14 PM
Anyone believing the assurances of safety needs to remember Christie Whitman, lying through her teeth, telling folks to go back to work - the air around Ground Zero was safe.
zeke carey January 27, 2014 at 02:10 PM
Nancy I know you have a gripe but where were you when asbestos was running rampant thru-out the refinery when Texaco and coastal owned it. you never realized how many fires and breakdowns occurred without anyone being notified. what about the naval shipyard where asbestos was all around. asbestos isn't the problem it's the cigarettes and tobacco industry that's the problem. did you know today the Marlboro man that was on the tv and packs of cigarettes died from a smoking related illness GO FIGURE. AND JUST THINK IN THE LATE 1800'S IT WAS A AMUSEMANT PARK.

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