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EPA Stabilizes Portions of Flood Damaged Landfill in Hunterdon County

Release Date: 12/27/2004
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(#04191) NEW YORK - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed shoring up specific areas of the Crown Vantage Landfill in Hunterdon County, which were severely damaged by recent flooding. EPA proposed to include the site on its Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), and has already taken action by placing stone on areas that either collapsed or were significantly impacted.

"We quickly responded to prevent the Crown Vantage Landfill from continuing to collapse into the Delaware River," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "Since the Delaware is used as a source of food, drinking water and recreation, an immediate response was necessary to protect the people who use this natural resource."

The Crown Vantage Landfill is an inactive, 10-acre industrial landfill located within a flood plain of the Delaware River in Alexandria Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The site is covered with ash, sludge, drums, and miscellaneous metal construction debris. EPA assessed the site after it flooded and discovered that it had eroded, revealing

    • drums,
    • paper,
    • foil-backed paper,
    • glass,
    • flyash.
Sampling of the waste and surrounding soils indicated elevated levels of semi-volatile organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, and metals.

On September 23, 2004, EPA proposed adding the Crown Vantage Landfill to its National Priorities List of the most hazardous waste sites, making it eligible for federal Superfund dollars.

In addition to shoring up areas where the landfill collapsed, EPA has repaired flood- damaged sections of the fence along the northern and southern edges of the site and placed warning signs along the perimeter. EPA expects to remove and dispose of the waste materials collected during its on-site activities early next year. While the Agency's actions addressed the most severely damaged sections of the landfill, the entire landfill face will need stabilization in order to eliminate the potential for further damage.

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..