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EPA Adds Mansfield Trail Dump Site in Byram Township, NJ to the Superfund List

Release Date: 03/08/2011
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez, 732-672-5520,

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added the Mansfield Trail Dump Site in Byram Township, New Jersey to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. Sampling has shown that chemical contamination in a wooded area of the site where waste was dumped in trenches is affecting a number of nearby homes. Chemicals have vaporized from contaminated ground water underneath area homes and have been found in some basements. Exposure to the contaminants found at the site can damage the liver, impair the nervous system and increase the risk of cancer.

“EPA is taking action to address toxic contamination in one of New Jersey’s most scenic areas,” said Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By putting this makeshift dump on EPA’s Superfund list, the Agency will be able to finish the investigation of the pollution and remediate the contamination so it does not pose a health threat to residents or users of the trail.”

The Mansfield Trail Dump site consists of several trenches in a wooded area near the intersection of the Mansfield bike path and Stanhope-Sparta Road where waste was illegally dumped. Sludge of unknown origin had been deposited in trenches in the area. Sampling and analysis conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in 2009 indicated the presence of trichloroethene in two areas that exceeded state screening levels. Other volatile organic compounds and various chlorinated benzene compounds, have also been detected. To protect public health, NJDEP installed carbon water filtration and treatment systems in 16 homes to remove contaminants from the drinking water. In addition, NJDEP installed systems to reduce the intrusion of chemical vapors into the basements of several of the homes that tested positive for air pollutants.

EPA periodically proposes sites to the Superfund National Priorities List and, after responding to public comments, designates them as final Superfund sites. The Superfund final designation makes them eligible for funds to conduct comprehensive cleanups. With all Superfund sites, EPA does an extensive search to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination and make them pay for or perform the cleanup work. The majority of Superfund cleanups are performed by or paid for by polluters, not tax dollars. Superfund money is used for EPA oversight costs and when no responsible party can be identified.

EPA proposed the Mansfield Trail Dump site in October 2010 and a 60-day comment period followed, during which the public was welcomed to submit comments on the proposed listing. The site is now final on the Superfund list.

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