Jersey City Superfund Site Ready for Final Capping

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has reached agreements with a waste management firm and a developer that will result in the final capping and redevelopment of the 87-acre PJP Landfill Superfund site in Jersey City.

The agreements with Waste Management of New Jersey Inc. and AMB Property LP were achieved through the execution of administrative consent orders after many months of discussions.

AMB Property will construct an industrial warehouse and distribution center with nearly 160 truck bays southeast of the Pulaski Skyway. The building and accompanying parking areas will serve as the cap for a 47-acre portion of the landfill. The company must conduct ongoing monitoring to ensure that they remain protective caps.

AMB will leave approximately five acres as open space. This area had been capped during interim remediation measures more than 20 years ago.

Waste Management, which during 2000 assumed cleanup liabilities from more than 50 responsible parties, will cap the remaining 35 acres with a synthetic liner and fill dirt. As part of the settlement, the company must conduct ongoing monitoring of groundwater contamination.

The PJP Landfill was added to the federal National Priorities List, or Superfund, in 1983. The Department of Environmental Protection is charged with overseeing its remediation.
The landfill began operations around 1968, accepting chemical and industrial wastes and, later, solid waste. It is no longer active.

It was partially capped with soil and was seeded during interim remedial measures taken during 1986. At that time, more than 4,500 cubic yards of soil, 4,700 drums of chemical waste, more than 130 compressed-gas cylinders, and other hazardous materials were removed from the landfill.

In addition, the landfill was fenced off and 47 vents were installed to release a buildup of gases that resulted from decomposing waste.

These gases contributed to persistent subsurface fires that spontaneously broke out within the landfill, frequently creating large clouds of smoke. The last of the fires was extinguished in 1985.
The agreements contain provisions for the DEP to recover costs and issue penalties if either of the companies fails to implement or maintain the agreed upon remedies.

Work on the warehouse is expected to begin this spring. The capping of the remainder of the site will begin after Waste Management secures land use permits needed for work near wetlands.

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