Camden gets $5M in federal money to remove massive pile of toxic dirt

Officials in Camden hope that millions in federal money will help workers remove a massive pile of toxic dirt that's been a longstanding eyesore and health concern for nearby residents. 

Mayor Victor Carstarphen said the city will use $5M to remove the estimated 70,000 tons of waste that occupies roughly two blocks on 7th and Chestnut streets. 

"No resident should have to do it," Carstarphen said. "Proud to say we signed an MOU that allows us to go after and get this taken care of through American Rescue Funds." 

The federal money will help Camden get a leg up on removing the overgrown dirt pile while the city pursues a lawsuit against Weyhill Reality, the company that Carstarphen said is responsible for the mess. 


"Environmentally, it's terrible breathing this air, I mean, if I could have snapped my fingers my first day in office last year that would have been done," Carstarphen said. 

Meanwhile, neighbors who live in the community have been teased by plans to remove the dirt pile and will remain wary until some progress is made. 

"Let’s see what happens," Irma Echevarria said. "I hope that they do clean it up, I mean people are raising their children in this environment, you know, the City of Camden has been through so much, but this is the worst."

Carstarphen said he hopes to start the clean-up sometime in September and hopes to have it complete within six months from the start date.