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EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan for Superfund Site In Galloway, New Jersey

Release Date: 08/07/2008
Contact Information: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662,

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a plan to clean contaminated soil and ground water at the Emmell’s Septic Landfill Superfund site in Galloway Township, New Jersey. The site was formerly used to dispose of septic waste and sewage sludge that reportedly had been put into trenches and lagoons on the property. EPA will hold a public information session to inform the public of the proposed cleanup plan and to answer questions the public may have.

“Not only were septic waste and sewage sludge dumped at this site, but chemical wastes, drums of paint sludge, gas cylinders and household garbage were also inappropriately disposed of at the site,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “EPA has already addressed the imminent risks and we want to inform the public about how we plan to move forward with the long-term cleanup.”

A public information session will be held at the Atlantic County Library, Galloway Township Branch at 7pm on August 18, 2008.

According to the plan that EPA is now proposing to the public, EPA will excavate and remove surface soil on the site property near the former disposal area that is contaminated with Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). Contaminated ground water that has migrated from the site will be captured by two extraction wells and treated at a facility that is currently under construction on the site as part of the first phase of the cleanup. In addition, as part of this new plan, EPA is proposing to use a technology known as biosparging, which will ensure the treatment of the portion of the ground water plume that is not captured by the ground water extraction wells. Using this approach, oxygen will be injected into the contaminated ground water, creating an ideal setting for the contaminant vinyl chloride to break down into harmless compounds. The Agency will monitor the ground water over the long term to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup.

The Emmell’s Septic Landfill operated from 1967 to 1979. From 1976 to 1980, a number of enforcement actions were taken by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) concerning disposal activities at the site and operations at the site ceased in August 1979. Five years later, NJDEP conducted sampling and found that the soil and ground water were contaminated. Later on in that year, the Atlantic County Health Department (ACHD) sampled residential wells in the vicinity of the site and found that five residential wells had elevated concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The contaminated wells were subsequently closed and replaced with deeper wells.

Upon further testing in the 1990s by EPA, NJDEP and Galloway Township, it was confirmed that VOCs, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and various chlorinated benzene compounds, were detected in soil, soil gas, and ground water samples. Waste materials, including paint-like substances, sludge, and drums were also found at the site and were determined to be a continuing source of ground water contamination.

In July 1999, EPA placed the Emmell’s Septic Landfill site on the National Priorities List (NPL), making it eligible for Superfund cleanup. Further extensive sampling and testing has shown that soil on the site property around the former disposal area is contaminated with PCBs and the ground water at the site is contaminated with VOCs. EPA excavated and removed 435 drums, eleven compressed gas cylinders and approximately 28,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the site in the summer and fall of 1999. Additionally, the EPA installed a system to treat drinking water from an effected well at a nearby residence and connected 36 other impacted residences to a municipal water supply.

EPA, in consultation with the NJDEP, will select the final remedy for this second phase of cleanup after reviewing and considering all comments submitted during a 30-day public comment period which started on July 25, 2008 and ends on August 25, 2008. Interested individuals can send comments to:

Joe Gowers, Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
290 Broadway, 19th floor
New York, New York 10007-1866

For more information on the Emmell’s Septic Landfill Superfund Site, go to For more about EPA’s Superfund program, visit: