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EPA Selects Cleanup Action For Contaminated Groundwater at the Higgins Disposal Superfund Site in Franklin Township, N.J.

Release Date: 10/09/1997
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(#97134) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its selection of a long-term cleanup action for chemically-contaminated groundwater at the Higgins Disposal Superfund site in Franklin Township, New Jersey. The remedy, which will cost an estimated $3.3 million, involves the installation of extraction wells to pump out the contaminated groundwater, which will be conveyed via pipeline to the soon-to-be operational treatment plant at the nearby Higgins Farm Superfund site. The action also calls for the home of the Higgins family and the neighboring Laurel Avenue residences to be connected to the Elizabethtown public water supply. The Higgins family and Laurel Avenue residences are still using water from private wells, and those households determined to be at risk have had water filters installed. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has reviewed the selected remedy and agrees with EPA's decision for the groundwater.

EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox said, "The situation at this site was addressed with a strong, coordinated federal Superfund response. The agency acted quickly, using our fast-track capability through the emergency removal program, to limit the public's exposure to the imminent threats posed by this site. Now we have chosen a cost-effective and safe means of restoring a potential source of public drinking water to meet stringent federal and state drinking water standards. Local communities do not have the resources to handle hazardous waste situations like this one. Without a strong Superfund law, future actions such as the cleanup at this site, will not happen, " Ms. Fox added.

In 1982, the state discovered that Higgins Disposal Services, Inc. was operating a landfill and waste transfer station on the 37-acre property without the appropriate permits. Testing showed that the groundwater underlying the site is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, semivolatile organic compounds, heavy metals and pesticides. EPA has conducted a number of federal Superfund removal actions at the site to clean up the sources of contamination, including removing over 6,500 drums and containers, and over 14,000 tons of soil from the disposal areas. In addition to the groundwater remedy, the Agency is planning another action to remove contaminated materials in a landfill on the site, which will further help to reduce the concentrations of chemicals in the underlying groundwater. In its final decision, EPA also states that, other than the planned removal action at the landfill, no further action will be needed for soils at the site.


For more information contact:
Rich Cahill, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3666 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: cahill.richard@epamail.epa.gov