Superfund Site: FORT DIX (LANDFILL SITE)
PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, NJ
Superfund Site Profile
The U.S. Army facility at Fort Dix, within the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, encompasses approximately 33,000 acres, all of which is located above a Class1-A aquifer that provides potable water for a large area of Central New Jersey. The NPL Site is confined to the 126-acre Fort Dix Landfill which operated as a sanitary landfill from 1950 until 1984. Access to the landfill was not controlled until 1980; therefore records of disposal practices and waste types are incomplete.
The Landfill is included within the Dix Basewide New Jersey Classification Exception Area (CEA). The CEA serves as an Institutional Control by providing notice that the groundwater does not meet the standards required by the groundwater classification.
The U.S. Army's Fort Dix Military Reservation, as it formerly was known, and McGuire Air Force Base used the Landfill to bury wastes in a series of trenches, which then were covered with soil that had been excavated from those trenches. In addition, a pit in the southwest of the landfill was reported by the Army to be used to dispose of mess hall grease and grease trap cleansers. Types of waste disposed of in the Landfill include sludges, waste paints and thinners, and pesticides. Cannon Run and an unnamed stream are located nearby and flow into Rancocas Creek. A hardwood swamp is located near the Landfill. Older portions of the landfill were re-vegetated with ash and pine trees, while the newer portions were left to naturally re-vegetate. Newer portions, where refuse was disposed of at elevations above the original grade, suffered from extensive soil erosion and wash-outs which exposed the waste materials. The site is surrounded by woods and dense vegetation which had been open to the public during the hunting season. Unauthorized recreational activities such as dirt biking have occurred near the site. As many as 5,000 people have lived in military housing about 4,000 feet upstream of the Landfill. Approximately 500 people live in Pemberton Township, which also is 4,000 feet from the Landfill. As many as 7,300 residents once had been served by domestic wells within three miles of the Landfill.