Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

NORTH SEA MUNICIPAL LANDFILL
NORTH SEA, NY

Cleanup Activities

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Background

 

The North Sea Municipal Landfill, owned and operated by the Town of Southampton, opened in 1963 for the disposal of municipal solid wastes, refuse, debris and septic system wastes from residential, industrial and commercial sources. It accepted these wastes from 1963 to 1995. After initial actions to protect human health and the environment, and site investigations, EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in June 1986.

The North Sea Municipal Landfill is located in Southampton, New York. The 131-acre North Sea Landfill Superfund site is an inactive municipal landfill owned and operated by the Town of Southampton, New York. The landfill accepted trash, construction debris and septic system waste from 1963 to 1995. The site consists of four areas: Cell No. 1, Cell No. 2, Cell No. 3 and former septic sludge or scavenger lagoons. Site monitoring found that disposal activities resulted in the contamination of groundwater, surface water and soil with heavy metals. Monitoring also found evidence of leachate from the landfill. In 1986, EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL). Cleanup activities included closure of Cell No. 1 by constructing a landfill cap and perimeter gas venting system. EPA determined that groundwater required no action because contaminant levels were within EPA's acceptable risk range. All cells are now permanently closed and Cells No. 2 and No. 3 are no longer part of the site. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulates those cells under its municipal waste landfill closure program. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2005.

 

After adding this site to the NPL, the EPA performed preliminary investigations and determined that, with the provision of alternative water to residents formerly using contaminated private wells, no other immediate actions were required at the North Sea Municipal Landfill site. All three landfill cells have been closed in accordance with New York State, Part 360 Landfill Closure requirements.

In addition, the removal of 100,000 cubic yards of material from the sludge lagoons and the capping of the 14-acre Cell No. 1 landfill has greatly reduced the potential for exposure to contaminants, as well as the generation of leachate and the release of contaminants into the aquifer.

After cleanup, EPA took the site off the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in September 2005.

 

 

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

 

The site was addressed in three stages: an initial action and two long-term remedial phases focused on cleanup of Cell No. 1 and the former sludge lagoon area.

After adding this site to the NPL, the EPA performed preliminary investigations and determined that, with the provision of alternative water to residents formerly using contaminated private wells, no other immediate actions were required at the North Sea Municipal Landfill site. All three landfill cells have been closed in accordance with New York State, Part 360 Landfill Closure requirements.

In addition, the removal of 100,000 cubic yards of material from the sludge lagoons and the capping of the 14-acre Cell No. 1 landfill has greatly reduced the potential for exposure to contaminants, as well as the generation of leachate and the release of contaminants into the aquifer.

After cleanup, EPA took the site off the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in September 2005.

Initial Action: EPA provided temporary emergency water supplies to affected homes until 1981, when the homes were connected to the public water supply. The sludge lagoons were decommissioned in 1986; about 100,000 cubic yards of solid contents were removed. After this removal, an additional 2 feet of soil was dug up. The excavated materials were dried out, mixed with sand and later used in Cell No. 2 as daily cover material. The sludge lagoons were backfilled to grade with sandy loam soils.

Cell No. 1 and Former Sludge Lagoon Area: EPA selected a remedy for these areas in the site’s September 1989 Record of Decision, or ROD. It called for closure of Cell #1 with a landfill cap and perimeter gas venting system, and confirmatory sludge and soil sampling to make sure hazardous materials were not leaching from the sludge lagoons. The confirmatory soil and sludge sampling took place in January 1992; no contaminated sludge was found. Construction of the landfill cap and gas venting system finished in January 1995.

Off-site Contamination: The Town of Southampton investigated the nature and extent of the off-site groundwater contamination. The investigation included putting in additional monitoring wells and resampling all existing wells. EPA issued a “no further action” ROD in September 1992 for the on- and off-site groundwater contamination because levels found were within EPA's acceptable risk range. The Town of Southampton conducted additional studies to assess water quality conditions in Fish Cove in 2001 and 2004. The studies did not identify any impacts to the cove’s diverse aquatic community.

Institutional controls have been put in place at the site. EPA has been provided with a copy of restrictive covenants placed on the real property at the site by the Town, filed with the local land record office on June 11, 2003. The restrictions require, “Owner shall not suffer or allow any development or other use of the property that would create an unacceptable high risk to human health or the environment relating directly to the conditions that led to the issuance of the September 1989 ROD, without first obtaining the express written consent of EPA and the concurrence of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.” This item completes the institutional controls requirement of the ROD.

EPA has conducted several five-year reviews at the site. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. The reviews concluded that response actions at the site are in accordance with the remedy selected by EPA and that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. The Town of Southampton continues to conduct routine maintenance of the landfill. Groundwater and leachate sampling is conducted on a semi-annual basis.
 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The successful cleanup of the site allowed for beneficial reuse of the property, providing valuable public resources and services to the local community. The Town of Southampton built a recreation center, which also houses recreation-related businesses, within the landfill property. Another portion of the site is a community recycling center.

The Town of Southampton continues to conduct routine maintenance of the landfill. Groundwater and leachate sampling is conducted on a semi-annual basis.

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