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The 16-acre Lipari Landfill site includes a 6-acre inactive landfill that, between 1958 and 1971, accepted household waste, liquid and semi-solid chemical wastes, and other industrial materials. These wastes were disposed of in trenches originally excavated for sand and gravel. Approximately 3,000,000 gallons of liquid wastes and 12,000 cubic yards of solid wastes were disposed of at the site. Some of the wastes included solvents, paints and thinners, formaldehyde, dust collector residues, resins, and solid press cakes from the industrial production of paints and solvents. Prior to the closing of the landfill in 1971 by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, at least one explosion and two fires were reported at the site. Contaminants seeped into the underlying aquifers and leached into nearby marshlands, Chestnut Branch, Rabbit Run and Alcyon Lake. The lake was subsequently closed for recreational use. Although approximately 11,000 people depend on groundwater for drinking water supplies within three miles of the site, drinking water supplies were not found to be contaminated. Fruit orchards, commercial businesses and a technology park are located adjacent to the site. Chestnut Branch is a tributary to the Delaware River.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
EPA put in a security fence to restrict access to the landfill in 1982. EPA installed additional fencing between 1983 and 1985 to restrict access to neighboring wetlands areas.
In 1982, EPA selected a remedy to stop pollutants from migrating from the landfill. It included construction of a landfill containment system consisting of an underground cut-off wall around the area, and placement of a synthetic membrane cover over the landfill surface. EPA completed the cut-off wall and landfill cap in 1984.
In 1985, EPA selected a remedy to clean up groundwater and leachate from the landfill. It included: (1) installing extraction and injection wells within the landfill containment system to batch flush the system of water soluble contaminants and pump out contaminated leachate and groundwater for treatment; (2) installing wells within the underlying Kirkwood Aquifer to monitor groundwater downgradient of the site; and (3) treating pumped water on site prior to discharging it to the nearby county sewer system.
In 1990, EPA began construction of the groundwater treatment plant. From 1992 to 2008, the landfill interior was flushed with clean water to remove soluble chemicals; contaminated water was then extracted and treated on site, before being sent for final treatment at the county sewage treatment plant. Landfill flushing resulted in significant reductions of contaminant concentrations.
In 2000, a vapor extraction and treatment system was installed on-site to clean up the landfill’s toxic vapors. The system continues to operate. It has removed and treated more than 215 tons of contaminants.
The vapor treatment system continues to remove substantial amounts of contamination. Trenches and drains continuously collect contaminated groundwater that seeps out of the landfill and this groundwater is sent to the local county sewage plant for treatment. Under current conditions at the site, harmful pollutants are captured, treated and under control.
Groundwater, surface water and air are monitored on a regular basis to ensure that the surrounding community and environment are not exposed to hazardous chemicals.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The site is being addressed in four stages: initial actions and three long-term remedial phases focused on source control, cleanup of groundwater and leachate, and off-site cleanup activities. Initial actions were completed in the 1980s and all three long-term remedial phases have been implemented. Landfill contamination has been contained with a cap, wall, and soil-vapor collection system which continues to operate, and affected groundwater is being captured and treated. Remediation of Chestnut Branch marsh and Alcyon Lake greatly reduced the potential for exposure to hazardous materials related to the site.
Groundwater, surface water and vapors are monitored on a regular basis to ensure that the surrounding community and environment are not exposed to hazardous chemicals.