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The Price Landfill site is located in the City of Pleasantville and Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey. The 26-acre landfill originally was a sand and gravel excavation operation that closed in 1968. Beginning in 1971, Price Landfill began to accept a combination of both drummed and bulk liquid wastes. Wastes included industrial chemicals, sludges, oil, grease, septic tank and sewer wastes. Tank trucks emptied bulk waste into the pit. Others dumped drums; some of these drums were punctured. Chemical waste disposal ended in late 1972, sludge disposal ended in the spring of 1973 and municipal waste disposal ended in 1976. It is estimated that over 9 million gallons of chemical waste were disposed of at the site during landfill operations. As a result, soil and groundwater in the area are contaminated.
The site was listed on EPA's National Priorities List in 1983. Following immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, EPA and the State of New Jersey put the site’s long-term remedy in place. Groundwater treatment and monitoring are ongoing. Under current conditions at the site, human exposures are under control and the migration of off-site groundwater contamination is being further evaluated.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
In 1980, residential wells in the area were found to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds and the Atlantic County Health Department recommended that their use as a potable water supply be discontinued. In 1981, EPA provided drinking water from tank trucks to the affected residences. Thirty-seven residences were connected to the New Jersey Water Company (NJWC) potable water system. In addition, EPA and the state interconnected the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (ACMUA) and the NJWC potable water systems. EPA redeveloped three ACMUA production wells, and installed granular activated carbon filtration units to treat any contaminated water.
Field investigations were performed by several consultants in the vicinity of the Site in 1981 and 1982, and in September of 1983 USEPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD), which included providing an alternate water source to local residents and the replacement of the existing Atlantic County Municipal Utility Authority (ACMUA) well field. Residents were provided connections to city water supplies and a new well field, located approximately 2 miles northwest of the Price Landfill was completed in 1985. In addition, consideration was to be given to plume management, source control and groundwater treatment alternatives.
In February 1985, a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) of the site conducted by CDM Smith was completed. The contaminants of concern identified in the groundwater were VOCs including benzene, chloroform, chlorobenzene, trans-1, 2-dichloroethylene, trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and acetone. Metals of concern include cadmium, lead, manganese, iron, and sodium.
In 1986, USEPA issued the OU2 ROD for the remediation of the Price Landfill. The OU2 ROD specified the construction of a groundwater extraction and treatment system to control the discharge of leachate from the landfill and control the contaminant plume. Implementation of the remedy included the following:
1. Installation of a security fence around the landfill;
2. Installation of groundwater extraction wells adjacent to the landfill to control the contaminant source;
3. Installation of groundwater extraction wells hydraulically down gradient from the landfill to abate the contaminant plume;
4. Construction of a groundwater/leachate pretreatment facility at or near the Site;
5. Construction of a force main to the ACUA interceptor system;
6. Extraction of contaminated groundwater followed by pretreatment and ultimate disposal and treatment at the ACUA wastewater treatment plant;
7. Quarterly monitoring of groundwater quality for approximately 25 years; and
8. Construction of a landfill cap at the conclusion of the groundwater extraction process
During the 1986 – 2009 timeframe, NJDEP performed a pre-design investigation to address a number of design issues (e.g. delineation of the boundaries of the Site and performance of treatability studies); prepared a design of the remedy that could not subsequently be implemented because the ACUA did not want to accept treated groundwater from the Site at that time; re-designed the remedy to re-inject treated groundwater versus discharge to the ACUA and, designed, constructed and operated a pilot plant on the landfill to field test certain treatment technologies.
The pilot plant operated from approximately 2001-2011, utilizing one extraction well to treat approximately 50 gallons per minute of VOC contaminated groundwater. The pilot plant consisted of a single groundwater extr action well located at the down gradient edge of the Site, treatment using a shallow tray air stripper, iron sequestration, and vapor phase carbon treatment of off gases, followed by recharge of the treated effluent at an onsite recharge basin.
In 2009, the regulatory agency management of the Site was transferred from NJDEP to USEPA. Oversight of the remedial design and construction has been conducted by USACE on behalf of USEPA. The remedial design for the 300 gallon per minute groundwater treatment facility (GWTF) was completed in 2010 and the facility construction was completed in late 2012. In early 2013; the GWTF commenced operation. There is a routine groundwater-monitoring program being performed at the Site in conjunction with the operation and maintenance of the groundwater remediation system.
In 2011, the USEPA completed excavation of buried landfill material located on the directly adjacent property to the south of the Site. This remedial action consisted of consolidation of the excavated landfill material onto the existing 26-acre landfill. The volume excavated and consolidated from the adjacent property to the Site was 82,000 cubic yards as measured by truck loads. In 2011, the design for the 26-acre cap for the Site was completed.
Immediate Actions: EPA provided bottled water to affected residences. In 1981, 37 affected residences were connected to the New Jersey Water Company (NJWC) public water supply system. To make sure the contaminant plume would not reach the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (ACMUA) public water supply well field, EPA and the State of New Jersey constructed an interconnection with the NJWC system, redeveloped three ACMUA production wells, installed granular activated carbon filtration units and implemented a water conservation program.
Wells/Plume Management/Source Control: In 1983, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) providing for the replacement and relocation of the ACMUA water supply well field. From 1983 to 1985, the State of New Jersey replaced and relocated the ACMUA water supply well field and transmission facilities and conducted additional analysis of the plume management, source control and treatment alternatives.
Entire Site: In the site’s 1986 ROD, EPA selected the following cleanup actions: (1) installation of a security fence; (2) installation of groundwater extraction wells next to the landfill to control the contaminant source; (3) installation of groundwater extraction wells downgradient from the landfill to stop the migration of the contaminant plume; (4) construction of a groundwater and leachate pretreatment facility at or near the site; (5) construction of a force main to the ACMUA interceptor system; (6) extraction of contaminated groundwater, followed by pretreatment and conveyance to the ACMUA wastewater facility for final treatment; (7) quarterly monitoring of groundwater for about 25 years; and (8) construction of a landfill cap after groundwater remediation.
EPA fenced the site to prevent public access to the contamination. EPA installed a treatment plant and extraction system to prevent the migration of the contaminated groundwater to nearby creeks and to treat contaminated groundwater.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The site is being addressed in three stages: immediate actions and two long-term remedial phases focused on wells/plume management/source control and cleanup of the entire site.
In 1981, EPA provided drinking water from tank trucks to the affected residences. Thirty-seven residences were connected to the New Jersey Water Company (NJWC) potable water system. In addition, EPA and the state interconnected the ACMUA and the NJWC potable water systems. EPA redeveloped three ACMUA production wells, and installed granular activated carbon filtration units to treat any contaminated water.
In March 1999, NJDEP completed an interim remedial design for a pilot plant to evaluate the treatment and discharge of the treated groundwater into the aquifer. The pilot plant was completed in February 2001. The pilot plant operated at the site until December 2011.
Design of the groundwater treatment system component of the remedy was completed in 2010. The groundwater treatment system construction is expected to be completed in late 2012. The remedial design for the landfill cap was completed in 2011. Construction of the landfill cap is expected to commence in 2013 subsequent to the start-up of the groundwater treatment system and be completed in 2014.
EPA continues to monitor the groundwater four times a year. When the cleanup of the site is complete, a landfill cap will be placed over the site. Under current conditions at the site, groundwater migration and human exposures are under control.