The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has successfully completed cleanup work at the Asbestos Dump Superfund site in Morris County, New Jersey, which is adjacent to a National Wildlife Refuge.
After assessing monitoring data, EPA has determined that the asbestos has been successfully contained, and no longer poses a significant threat to public health or the environment.
“Thanks to EPA’s efforts, the cleanup was successful, clearing the way for the deletion of this property from the Superfund list of the country’s most hazardous waste sites,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.
The Asbestos Dump site consisted of four separate properties, one of which was a a 7,700 acre tract of wooded and wetland area, part of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) — a Registered National Natural Landmark that receives approximately 185,000 visitors per year.
Between 1927 and 1975, under the operation of several different manufacturing companies, waste products containing asbestos were disposed of throughout the site, resulting in soil contamination. The nearby Passaic River was also threatened by runoff of contaminated surface water from the site. Currently, site properties are owned by the State of New Jersey, USFWS, and private parties. National Gypsum Company is the responsible party for the site and paid in part for the cleanup.
The site was placed on the National Priorities List in 1983. Cleanup actions included consolidating and solidifying contaminated material in designated areas on-site, capping those areas, installing systems to divert surface runoff, slope protection and stabilization plans, drainage improvements, erosion controls, assessments of wetlands impacts, and restrictions on future uses for particular portions of the site. EPA’s partner agencies, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and USFWS, are responsible for the ongoing monitoring and maintenance activities at the site. EPA will review conditions at the site every five years to ensure that the work it did continues to protect the public and the environment. In February 2002, the completion of cleanup activities at the White Bridge Road portion of the site enabled EPA to delete that property from the National Priorities List. The current deletion applies to the remaining two areas of the Asbestos Dump site – the Millington unit and the Dietzman Tract.
The site has now been deleted from the National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites, commonly known as the Superfund list, after the public comment period earlier this year produced no objections.
Read about Superfund successes at the EPA: www.epa.gov/superfund