Shieldalloy Metallurgical Corp. has agreed to pay $5.6 million to cleanup its heavily contaminated 67.5-acre property straddling Newfield and Vineland, the Environmental Protection Agency said. 

Under the agreement, the company will  perform a cleanup of the contaminated soil, sediment and surface water, and undertake a "modified cleanup measure" for the groundwater at the Superfund site, the EPA said.

The agency said exposure to contaminants at the site, including hexavalent chromium and volatile organic compounds, have been liked to nervous system damage and cancer.

The EPA, which will oversee the work, said the groundwater plan requires the use of nonhazardous additives to break down the contaminants, allowing them to naturally decline.

The property will be barred from future residential development.

Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey, called the agreement "a dirty deal that lets polluters off the hook."

"This site is badly contaminated and radioactive, but the EPA has failed to propose a real clean-up," Tittel said. "Instead of cleaning up the site, they are capping it, leaving tons of toxic material that will affect the groundwater and community around the Shieldalloy facility."

Shieldalloy Metallurgical processed ores and minerals to produce primary metals, specialty metals and ferro alloys, at the Superfund site from 1955 through 2006.

"The principle production processes included reduction smelting of ores that produce metal, slag and other byproducts," the EPA said. "Raw materials have contained the following metals: chromium, bismuth, copper, titanium, vanadium, calcium, aluminum, zirconium, iron, lead, nickel, silicon, magnesium, manganese, fluoride salts and oxides of niobium, vanadium, barium, calcium and aluminum."