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EPA Stabilizes Portions of Crown Vantage Landfill and Reaches Settlement With Private Party

Release Date: 06/20/2005
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(#05069) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with Fort James Operating Company, a former owner of the Crown Vantage Landfill in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, to stabilize the landfill. The Agency recently shored up flood-damaged areas of the landfill, and had done similar work at the site after floods last fall.

"Once again, EPA quickly responded to prevent the Crown Vantage Landfill from collapsing into the Delaware River," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "And we are pleased that the Fort James Operating Company has agreed to further stabilize the site to ensure that the community and the river are protected."

The Crown Vantage Landfill is an inactive, 10-acre industrial landfill located within a flood plain of the Delaware River in Alexandria Township, New Jersey. The site is covered with ash, sludge, drums, and miscellaneous metal construction debris. Sampling of the waste and surrounding soils in November 2003 indicated elevated levels of semi-volatile organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, and metals. EPA evaluated the site after it flooded in the fall of 2004 and discovered that it had eroded, revealing drums, paper, foil-backed paper, glass, and flyash. On April 27, 2005, EPA added the Crown Vantage Landfill to its National Priorities List of the most hazardous waste sites.

Last fall, EPA addressed the most severely flood-damaged sections of the landfill by shoring up areas where the landfill collapsed, repairing flood-damaged sections of the fence along the northern and southern edges of the site, and placing warning signs along the perimeter. In responding to the damage caused by flooding this spring, EPA repaired the site fence, replaced warning signs, removed trees that either fell or washed up onto the site, placed stone in a collapsed area along the southern face of the landfill, and repaired a partially collapsed roadway on the northern end of the site. In addition, the Agency shipped drums of previously collected waste offsite for disposal.

EPA's agreement with Fort James Operating Company is in an Administrative Agreement and Order on Consent (AOC) that requires the company to stabilize the landfill face, implement site security and remove any remaining exposed drums from the landfill.

The Crown Vantage Landfill began operations in the 1930s and continued to be used until the early 1970s. The landfill contains waste materials from an adjacent paper mill, as well as from other mills that operated in the area. These paper mill-related wastes include flyash from coal burning, drums containing press room wastes such as varnish, shellac, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene, inks, and dyes, as well as paper fiber sludge and rolls of paper and aluminum foil-laminated paper. The landfill also contains steel and fiber barrels and pallets; construction and demolition debris such as concrete, duct work, piping, and machinery parts; and household garbage and rubbish including appliances and furniture.