Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

PJP LANDFILL
JERSEY CITY, NJ

Cleanup Activities

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Background

 

The site was originally a salt meadow, a portion of which was condemned in 1932 for the construction of the Pulaski Skyway.The PJP Landfill Superfund Site is an inactive landfill located on approximately 87 acres in an industrial areain Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey. Is bordered on the north and west by the Hackensack River, on the southest by Truck Routes 1 and 9 and there are various light indistries along the other borders. The Site is bisected by the Sip Avenus Ditch which runs roughly east-west conveying run-off from the PJP Landfill and the Jersey City stormwater/sewer system to the Hackensack River.  The Pulaski Skyway, an elevated highway, passes over a portion of the Site. Supports for the highway are on the SIte.

From about 1970 to 1974, the PJP Landfill Company operated a commercial landfill at the site, accepting chemical and industrial waste. In 1977, the NJDEP ordered the PJP Landfill Company to properly cover and grade the landfill, and to remove wastes in contact with the Hackensack River and the Sip Avenue Ditch. The company did not comply with the order.

From 1970 to 1985, subsurface fires attributed to spontaneous combustion of subsurface drums and decomposition of landfill materials frequently burned on the now-capped 45-acre portion of the landfill. The fires emitted large amounts of smoke. Throughout the early 1980s, NJDEP and the Hudson Regional Health Commission inspected the Site and conducted sampling and air monitoring.

EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in September 1983.  The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is the lead agency.

Landfill operations contaminated the soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater with hazardous chemicals including volitile and semi-volitile compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and metals.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is the lead agency for this SIte.  Currently the majority of the Site has been capped and monitoring of the contaminated media is ongoing.  A small area near Route 1 and 9 at which a truck stop was located was not included in the area capped and is currently being investigated.

 

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial phase focused on cleanup of the entire site.

Immediate Actions: In 1985, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) extinguished landfill fires through major excavation work and capping of the landfill. In addition, a gas venting system was installed to prevent the buildup of gases in the landfill.

Long-term Cleanup: Following a remedial investigation and feasibility study to determine the nature and extent of the contamination and to evaluate remedial alternatives, the site’s remedy was selected in the site’s September 1995 Record of Decision, or ROD. It included removing all buried drum materials, capping the remaining landfill area, replacing the Sip Avenue ditch with an alternative form of drainage, monitoring and modeling of groundwater and leachate, conducting quarterly site inspections, and putting institutional controls (e.g., deed restrictions) in place.

In March 2008, AMB Corporation (now Prologis) purchased part of the site. They constructed a warehouse and transfer station, which was completed and approved in July 2016. Jersey City is working on construction of a park on their portiont of the site.

In June 2010, Jersey City signed an agreement with CCS (CHECK), who was resposible for the remainder of the Landfill, to take over their portion of the property after Waste Management constructed a landfill cap. The cap was completed in early 2012. Jersey City took over all responsibility for the property in May 2012 and is working on construction of a park.

 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The Record of Decision (ROD) was issued on September 28, 1995, Since then, the western 52 acres of the site were purchased by Prologis which constructed a warehouse and transfer station. Construction was completed and approved by EPA on July 29, 2016.

A cap was constructed over the remaining 37 acres by Waste Management and CWM Chemical Services (together known as CCS).  Construction of the cap was completed in January 2012.  Subsequently, Jersey City took control of the 37 acres in June 2012.

There is an approximately 1.5 acre area along Routes 1 and 9 which contained a Truck Stop and other light industires.  This area is within the boundaries of the PJP Landfill Site but was not covered by the cap required in the 1995 ROD.  This area is currently under investigation.

Groundwater, surface water in the Hackensack River and DIp Avenue Ditch and leachate monitoring are ongoing. Under current conditions at the site, potential or actual human exposures are under control.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

The site will have deed notices and a Classification Exemption Area to prevent use of the groundwater.

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