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EPA to Shore Up Flood Damaged Landfill in Hunterdon County

Release Date: 10/21/2004
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(#04158) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will shore up a portion of the Crown Vantage Landfill in Hunterdon County, which was recently damaged due to heavy flooding. The landfill has been proposed for inclusion on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). EPA will use its authority under Superfund to immediately place stone in the collapsed area in order to prevent further erosion from this part of the landfill.

"It is critical that we stabilize the Crown Vantage Landfill before any more damage can be done," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "The work is necessary to protect the health of the people who eat the fish and depend on the Delaware for their drinking water."

The Crown Vantage Landfill is an inactive, industrial landfill located in Alexandria Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The landfill encompasses approximately 10 acres within a flood plain of the Delaware River. Ash, sludge, drums, and miscellaneous metal construction debris cover the site. EPA assessed the site and found that the site was recently flooded and had eroded, revealing drums, paper, foil-backed paper, glass, and flyash. Sampling of the waste and surrounding soils indicated elevated levels of semi-volatile organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, and metals.

On September 23, 2004, EPA proposed adding the Crown Vantage Landfill to its National Priorities List of the most hazardous waste sites, making it eligible for federal Superfund dollars.

In addition to placing stone where the landfill collapsed, EPA will also collect any drums that have been exposed to flooding, construct a pathway to the collapsed area, clear trees to prevent them from uprooting in the area of the collapse, build a pad to decontaminate equipment, and dispose of all material collected while the Agency prepares the landfill for stabilization.

Crown Vantage was used as a landfill beginning in the 1930s and continued to be used until the early 1970s. Waste materials deposited at the landfill included those generated at an adjacent paper mill, as well as from other mills which operated in the area. These paper mill-related wastes include flyash from coal burning, drums containing press room wastes such as varnish, shellac, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene, inks, and dyes, as well as paper fiber sludge and rolls of paper and aluminum foil- laminated paper. The landfill also contains steel and fiber barrels and pallets; construction and demolition debris such as concrete, duct work, piping, and machinery parts; and household garbage and rubbish including appliances and furniture.