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EPA Removes Pepe Field Superfund Site from the National Priorities List

Release Date: 07/15/2003
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(#03084) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Pepe Field in Boonton, New Jersey, is cleaned up and has been removed from the National Priorities List (NPL) of the nation's worst hazardous waste sites.

"EPA has turned a liability into an asset for the town," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "Now everyone is able to enjoy the new facilities, where previously contamination had rendered the park unusable. With the cleanup complete, we can take Pepe Field off the list of the worst hazardous waste sites; it is one of our best success stories!"

Pepe Field was used by the E.F. Drew Co. as a landfill from the 1920s until 1950. In the mid-1960s, the Town of Boonton built a recreation facility over the landfill that included tennis courts, a baseball field, a playground and a refreshment stand. The material in the landfill began to decay and caused a strong 'rotten egg' odor to be released. In 1969, the town implemented an odor-abatement plan in an attempt to restore usable conditions, but was unable to fix the problem and the park was closed.

In the late 1980s, EPA and the state of New Jersey developed a cleanup plan. However, during further investigations at the park, EPA determined that the waste under Pepe Field would need to be removed. The Agency stabilized, excavated and disposed of approximately 50,000 cubic yards of waste; treated contaminated ground water draining from the site; and backfilled dirt to restore the park. A grand reopening of the park was held in November 2000, when the restoration was complete and new facilities had been constructed. The new park includes a regulation Little League field, playground, basketball court, walking path, gazebo, flagpole area and concession stand.

Nearly 300 Superfund sites have been cleaned up and deleted from the NPL. The notice of the deletion of Pepe Field from the NPL was published in the Federal Register Friday. Members of the public interested in obtaining copies of the notice or a detailed site description should contact the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810.