OLD BRIDGE — Construction of a cap for the Global Landfill in Old Bridge is under way to provide final containment of a Superfund site that has been an environmental concern in the area for many years, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced Thursday.
“This construction project, being implemented under the oversight of the DEP, will provide a much healthier environment for residents of Old Bridge and neighboring Sayreville who have had to live with this Superfund site in their back yard for so long,” Martin said. “It will provide long-term protection to the public as well as wildlife that depend on the ecologically fragile tidal marshes along Cheesequake Creek.”
Residents can expect to see heavy truck traffic entering and leaving the site for several months. Fill material will be brought onto the site using standard-size dump trucks approved for use on public highways. The trucks will adhere to Department of Transportation weight restrictions. Soil delivery is restricted to Mondays through Fridays, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Under the terms of a 2008 settlement agreement, a group of some 30 waste generators and haulers has begun site preparations, including stockpiling of soil to be used to cover the nearly 60-acre landfill. The 2008 settlement agreement triggered release of escrow accounts providing $20 million for cleanup work.
The cap will provide a protective barrier and, in conjunction with leachate-collection and stormwater-control systems, will significantly reduce the infiltration of contaminants into ground water.
The landfill, located near Cheesequake State Park, accepted municipal, commercial and industrial waste from 1968 to 1984. The DEP ordered the landfill closed when a slope failed and collapsed into wetlands. The slope was stabilized years ago.
In 1989, the federal Environmental Protection Agency added the site to its National Priorities List, or Superfund, because of the presence of contaminated leachate and the discovery of buried drums containing hazardous waste. Since the 1990s, DEP and EPA have been conducting pollution containment activities, as well as soil, water and wetlands monitoring.
Studies have shown that shallow ground water beneath the Global Landfill is contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides and metals. There are no public wells in the vicinity of the landfill.
The DEP and EPA have required long-term monitoring of the aquifers and wetlands. The DEP and EPA have also required some 5,000 cubic yards of wetland sediments contaminated with volatile organic chemicals to be placed under the landfill cap.
The cap is made of dirt, drainage layers and synthetic fabrics designed to flex as the contents of the landfill continue to settle. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2011.
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