Environmental Protection

Landfill Site Settlement Gives N.J. $4 Million

N.J. Attorney General Anne Milgram and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced Nov. 13 that the state has entered into a settlement agreement through which it will be paid $4 million to settle cost recovery and natural resource damage (NRD) claims associated with the Florence Land Recontouring Landfill, a former Superfund site in Burlington County.

Under terms of the settlement agreement, more than 50 defendants will pay the state a total of about $3.7 million to cover not only past clean-up and removal costs at Florence Landfill, but future site remediation activity there as well. The payout ensures funding that will enable the continued removal and disposal of leachate generated by the former landfill. In addition, the defendants will pay DEP approximately $337,000 in natural resource damages related to groundwater and soil contamination at Florence, which has included such volatile organic compounds as methylene chloride and vinyl chloride, and such heavy metals as arsenic, chromium and lead.

Spanning 86 acres in Florence, Mansfield, and Springfield townships, the Florence landfill operated from approximately 1973 through 1981. It was once ranked among the United States' most contaminated and dangerous hazardous waste sites. As a result of DEP-led remediation efforts, the landfill was removed from the federal government's National Priority List in 2004, although future clean-up and removal work will be required.

The settlement resolves litigation filed by the Division of Law in December 2004 against parties suspected of contaminating the Florence Landfill site. Filing of the lawsuit on behalf of DEP followed years of remediation work by state and federal environmental agencies to address extensive soil and groundwater contamination at the site. DEP was, and remains, lead agency for the clean-up project at Florence Landfill, which is currently in its Operation and Maintenance Phase.

A formal Consent Decree memorializing terms of the settlement agreement was entered by Superior Court Judge Michael J. Hogan in Burlington County on Oct. 30. Under the Consent Decree, defendants in the case are categorized in several different groups including a commercial generator group, a transporter group, an owner-operator group, and two governmental generator groups.

According to the Consent Decree, defendants in the owner-operator group must pay the DEP and the New Jersey Spill Fund a total of $2.08 million. Defendants in the transporter group are to pay a total of $720,000. Defendants in the commercial generator group must pay $600,000. Defendants in governmental generator group one must pay a total of $150,000, while governmental generator group two must pay a total of $450,000. By grouping, the settling defendants are as follows:

Owner-Operator Group: A&S Transportation Co., Anthony Amadei (Estate of), John K. Atkin, Alton W. Cross, Jr. (Estate of), David Ehrlich, Florence Land Development Co., Florence Land Development, Inc., Florence Land Recontouring, Inc., Jersey Environmental Management Services, Inc., Jerome Kotzen, George Kudra (Estate of), Ernest N. Sever (Estate of), Spectraserv, Inc. and Richard Winn. Transporter Group: ACR, Inc., Almo Anti-Pollution Services, BFI Waste Systems of New Jersey, Inc., Delaware Valley Scrap Co., Inc., Delorenzo Twin County Disposal, Inc., Environmental Waste Control, Gorski Trash Removal, Inc., Hems Brothers, Inc., J. Vinch and Sons, Inc., J.P. Mascaro & Sons, Inc., J.R. Clark Disposal, Joseph R. Clark, Mannor Care, inc., Northeast Disposal, inc., Portfolio One, Inc., Mike Spano and Sons, Inc., Roland Hems, T&L Container Service, Inc., TDS Inc., The O'Connor Corporation, Tinari Contractors, Inc., Waste Automation and Waste Management of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Commercial Generator Group: EPEC Polymers, Inc., Hercules Incorporated, Occidental Chemical Corp and Public Service Electric and Gas Co.

Governmental Generator Group One: New Jersey Department of Corrections, New Jersey Department of Treasury and the Borough of Palmyra.

Governmental Generator Group Two: Beverly Sewerage Authority, City of Bordentown, Delanco Township, Delran Sewerage Authority, Florence Township, Hamilton Township, Maple Shade Township, North Hudson Sewerage Authority and the Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority.

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