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

Release Date: 10/19/2010
Contact Information: (press) Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed to add 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 where waste was dumped in trenches is affecting a number of nearby homes. Chemical vapors from contaminated soil underneath some area homes have been found in some basements. Exposure to the contaminants found at the site can have serious health impacts, damage the liver, impair the nervous system or increase the risk of cancer.

“EPA is proposing to add this site to the Superfund list so we can fully address any contamination in this community, especially the toxic air contaminants that are seeping into some homes through their foundations,” said Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By listing the site, EPA can do the extensive sampling needed to determine the best ways to address the contamination and protect people’s health.”

The Mansfield Trail Dump Site consists of several waste disposal trenches in a wooded area near the intersection of the Mansfield bike path and Stanhope-Sparta road. Sampling by the Sussex County Department of Health in 2005 identified trichloroethylene (TCE), an organic solvent used in industrial processes, in residential drinking water wells along Brookwood and Ross Roads in Byram Township. To protect public health, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) installed carbon water filtration and treatment systems in 16 homes to remove contaminants from their drinking water. In addition, NJDEP installed systems to reduce the intrusion of chemical vapors into the basements of five of the homes that tested positive for air pollutants.

In an effort to identify the source of the contamination, NJDEP identified and investigated four areas in a wooded section near the Mansfield bike path, and found evidence of TCE contamination in two of them. Sludge of unknown origin had been deposited in trenches in the area. Sampling and analysis conducted by NJDEP in 2009 indicated the presence of TCE in two areas above state screening levels. Other volatile organic compounds, a group of pollutants common in household and industrial products, and various chlorinated benzene compounds, have also been detected.

Furthering the investigation, NJDEP collected gas samples from the soil underneath people’s basements as well as inside the basements throughout the affected neighborhood. The results varied, with some homes showing TCE concentrations above state screening levels in just the samples from underneath the basements and some homes showing TCE concentrations above screening levels both in the basements and underneath them.

After receiving a letter from the New Jersey government supporting the inclusion of the Mansfield site on the Superfund list, EPA has determined that a listing offers the best course of action to protect human health and clean up the contamination. EPA periodically proposes sites to the Superfund list and, after responding to public comments, designates them as final Superfund sites. The Superfund final designation makes them eligible for funds to conduct long-term cleanups.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites, on the day of publication visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm

With the proposal of this site to the Superfund List, a 60-day comment period will begin during which EPA solicits public input regarding this action. For instructions to submit comments, go to: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/pubcom.htm

Comments can be submitted, identified by Docket number (EPA-HQ-SFUND-2010-0634) one of the following methods:http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

Email: superfund.docket@epa.gov

Mail: Mail comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; (Mail Code 5305T); 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20460

Hand Delivery or Express Mail: Send comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW; EPA West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays).

For more information on the NPL Site listing process, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/npl_hrs.htm or contact Ildefonso Acosta, Region 2 NPL Coordinator, at 212-637-4344, acosta.ildefonso@epa.gov

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