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EPA Begins Construction of Water line in Chester and Washington Townships, N.J.; $7.3 Million Project Will Provide Safe Drinking Water to Residents and Businesses

Release Date: 06/21/2013
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

      (New York, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is constructing a water line extension in Chester and Washington Townships in New Jersey that will provide a safe source of drinking water to 73 homes and businesses potentially impacted by contaminated ground water from the Combe Fill South Landfill Superfund site. The 65-acre Combe Fill South Landfill in Morris County served as a municipal landfill from the 1940s until 1981. Soil and ground water beneath the site were contaminated by volatile organic compounds from the landfill. Volatile organic compounds can have serious impacts on people’s health.

      “Clean drinking water is a top priority for the EPA,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “People should not have to worry about whether their water is safe to drink. The new water line will connect homes and businesses threatened by the ground water contamination to a municipal water supply that will provide a safe source of drinking water.”

      In 1978, Combe Fill Corporation bought the landfill and operated the site in violation of New Jersey’s solid waste law. Combe Fill Corporation went bankrupt in 1981 and the landfill was not properly closed. Approximately 170 people live within half a mile of the landfill and most of the residents use private wells as their source of drinking water. The EPA added the site to the Superfund list of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites in 1983.

      The original cleanup plan for the site included capping the landfill, installing a landfill gas collection system, pumping and treating the shallow ground water beneath the site and installing stormwater runoff controls. All of these cleanup measures were successfully completed and are operating effectively. A study of the site’s impact on the deep ground water is ongoing.

      Starting in the early 1990s, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection began providing in-home water treatment systems to residents whose wells were affected by ground water contamination coming from the landfill. The EPA has pursued the new water line extension in order to provide a permanent water supply to the neighborhood around the landfill. The expected cost of the water line extension is $7.3 million dollars. Once constructed, the water line extension, which will connect homes and businesses along Parker Road, School House Lane and a small portion of Route 24, will be operated and maintained by the Washington Township Municipal Utilities Authority.

      For more information about the Combe Fill South Landfill Superfund site, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/combefillsouth.

      Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.

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