New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that no further action is needed to address two closed landfills at the Cinnaminson Ground Water Contamination Superfund site in the townships of Cinnaminson and Delran, New Jersey. The site, which covers approximately 400 acres, includes residential and industrial properties and the two landfills. As a result of historic operations throughout the site, the ground water and soil are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and heavy metals, which can have serious health effects. The EPA will require that the ground water continues to be monitored.
The EPA will hold a public meeting on May 12, 2014 to explain the proposed plan and is encouraging public comments. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Cinnaminson Community Center at 1621 Riverton Road in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Comments will be accepted until May 29, 2014.
To date, the landfills have been covered with protective caps to prevent water from flowing through them and a system has been constructed to collect gas generated from the landfills. In addition, contaminated ground water in the area is being pumped and then treated to prevent contaminants from spreading. The local drinking water supply is monitored regularly to ensure that water quality meets drinking water standards and is safe to consume.
The EPA determined that no further cleanup actions are needed at the landfills because the actions already taken have been successful. Additionally, a review of conditions at the site shows that the threat of further release of contaminants from the landfills to the ground water has been addressed. Groundwater monitoring conducted over the past 26 years confirms the effectiveness of those actions.
The landfill property on the site was originally a sand and gravel mining operation. Later, solid waste including hazardous substances were dumped in the mining pits. Sanitary Landfill, Inc., a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc., operated the landfills from 1970 until they closed in the 1980s. The site was first addressed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, with the EPA taking over when the site was added to the Superfund list in 1986.
The EPA's cleanup of the site has been conducted in phases to facilitate the long-term restoration of the area. In 1987, Sanitary Landfill, Inc. covered the landfills with a clay cap to keep water from mixing with the contaminants and spreading the ground water contamination. A landfill gas management system to collect and control landfill gas was expanded in 1996.
In the first phase of the EPA cleanup in 2000, SC Holdings, Inc., a successor to Sanitary Landfill, Inc., constructed a ground treatment system to clean the polluted ground water and installed wells to measure and monitor ground water contamination. The ground water monitoring for volatile organic compounds and metals is ongoing and performed twice a year.
In September 2010, the EPA began investigating whether vapors from the ground water contamination in the area were getting into nearby homes. Approximately 60 properties were sampled and two required mitigation systems to vent the contaminated vapors. These systems have been installed.
In the second phase of the project, announced today, SC Holdings, Inc. will continue to monitor the ground water and the landfill caps to ensure that people’s health and the environment are protected. The landfills remain eligible for cleanup work in the event that a change in site conditions should warrant such an action.
The third and fourth phases of the cleanup will address soil and ground water contamination in other areas of the site.
The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanups, rather than passing the costs to taxpayers. The EPA searches for parties legally responsible for the contamination at sites that are placed on the Superfund list and it seeks to hold those parties accountable for the costs of investigations and cleanups. The work at on the landfills at the Cinnaminson Ground Water Contamination Superfund site is being conducted and paid for by SC Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc., with oversight by the EPA. The EPA estimates the cost of this phase of the cleanup will be about $2.2 million.
Written comments may be mailed to:
Perry Katz, Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 2
290 Broadway – 19th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007-1866
The EPA has a web page for the Cinnaminson Ground Water Contamination Superfund site: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/cinnaminson/