Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The Burnt Fly Bog site is located in a semi-rural area, mostly in Marlboro Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey. It also extends into Old Bridge Township in Middlesex County. It covers about 1,700 acres and is located on the periphery of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Contamination of part of the site began during the 1950s and the early 1960s, with the direct dumping and spreading of hazardous materials resulting from recycled waste oil operations. In addition to oil reprocessing activities, the site is also the former location of a landfill and dump. These activities have resulted in surface water, sediment and soil contamination. Immediate cleanup actions to protect human health and the environment have been completed. Long-term monitoring is ongoing.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Cleanup Progress
All of the contaminated soil and sludge from the Uplands Area has been excavated. Nearly 85,000 tons of contaminated soil, including about 10,000 tons of stabilized sludge, have been removed and disposed of off-site at EPA-approved disposal facilities. In addition, about 1,000 tons of sludge contaminated with high levels of PCBs have been removed and incinerated off site. Work on the Uplands Area finished in 1993.

About 6,000 tons of PCB-contaminated soil was dug up and removed from the portion of the Westerly Wetlands referred to as the Downstream Area. A sedimentation basin was completed in the Downstream Area to prevent sediment from migrating off site into Burnt Fly Brook. These actions, in conjunction with the State’s periodic removal of sediment accumulating in the basin, will mitigate the effects of the site on downstream potable watershed areas. All construction work was substantially completed in 1996. Based on monitoring data obtained since the sedimentation basin was completed, surface water and sediment contamination levels in Burnt Fly Brook have been significantly reduced and have not migrated off-site.

About 46,000 tons of contaminated soil from the Tar Patch Area were dug up and transported off site for disposal. In addition, about 600 tons of “hot spot” material was dug up from the Tar Patch Area and transported off site for incineration. From the Northerly Wetlands Area, about 9,400 tons of contaminated soil was dug up and transported off site for disposal.

EPA has conducted four 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 fourth review, completed in 2015, found that the remedies at the site protect human health and the environment. Contaminated soils and sediments have been dug up, the sedimentation basin prevents migration of the contaminants into surface water, and site access is restricted by fencing. For the site’s remedy to be protective in the long term, institutional controls, i.e. deed notices need to be put in place. Five properties in Marlboro Township and nine properties in Old Bridge require deed notices under the ROD. Two deed restriction notices were filed in accordance with the United States/State of New Jersey versus Dominick Manzo Consent Decree entered in 2011. Marlboro Township filed their five deed restriction notices in 2013. However, the remaining deed restrictions for Old Bridge are still not completed. 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The site was addressed in four stages: one immediate action and three long-term remedial phases focused on cleanup of the Uplands Area and the Westerly Wetlands.
Immediate Actions: In 1982, EPA repaired an earthen dike that the State had built in the Uplands Area to hold back lagoon contents. EPA also installed a security fence around the lagoons and drums to restrict access. Construction of a dike and security fence around the lagoons and drums, and the removal and disposal of the contaminated soils and sludge in the Uplands Area, reduced the potential for accidental contact with hazardous materials and for contaminated liquids to migrate from the site.

Uplands Area: EPA selected a remedy to clean up the Uplands Area in November 1983 which included: (1) excavating hazardous substances in lagoon 1, the asphalt pile area, the tar patch area, and the drummed waste area (2) excavating and removing hazardous materials in lagoons 2, 3, and 4 and contaminated soil in other areas (4) excavation and removal of sludge contaminated with high levels of PCBs for off-site incineration; (5) restoring the original site contours and replanting the area; (6) designing a comprehensive five-year groundwater monitoring program and testing eight residential wells; and (7) studying the Westerly Wetlands further to determine the extent of contamination there.

Westerly Wetlands: In September 1988, EPA selected an interim remedy for the Westerly Wetlands. It included: (1) removing about 6,000 cubic yards of contaminated materials that migrated through the Westerly Wetlands to the Downstream Area; (2) disposing of these materials in the same manner in which Uplands Area wastes were handled; (3) containing the contaminated soil and sediment in the Westerly Wetlands by means of a sedimentation basin and appropriate diversion controls; and (4) putting in security fencing and an access road into the Westerly Wetlands from Spring Valley Road.

Final Remedy: In September 1998, EPA selected the Final Remedy for the site. The Final Remedy covers three areas at the site – the Westerly Wetlands, the Tar Patch Area and the Northerly Wetlands Area. The selected remedy required digging up and disposing of PCB- and lead-contaminated soil from the Tar Patch Area and the Northerly Wetlands off site, with subsequent wetlands restoration.

The Westerly Wetlands provides habitat to a greater diversity of wildlife than any of the other habitats on the site. Therefore, remediation via excavation of the Westerly Wetlands would cause significant ecological impacts to this area and it is uncertain if these wetlands could be restored. The selected remedy, however, is expected to result in a long-term sediment buildup from vegetative humification, forming an increasingly protective barrier over the contaminated soil in the Westerly Wetlands. The selected remedy will preserve the existing wetland system and require monitoring of the natural protective barrier as it continues to develop and increase protectiveness. Surface water and sediment in Burnt Fly Brook are monitored to ensure that on-site contamination does not reach the Brook. The site achieved construction completion status when the Preliminary Close-Out Report was signed in September 2004.

The State is currently monitoring the site in accordance with the site’s Long-Term Monitoring Plan


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