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Emmell's Septic Landfill
Galloway, NJ

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Cecilia Echols (212) 637-3678

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EPA added the Emmell’s Septic Landfill Site in Galloway, New Jersey to the Superfund National Priorities List on July 22, 1999 because hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and groundwater. The 38 acre site in Atlantic County contained a landfill that operated from 1967 through 1979. Septic and sewage wastes were accepted and placed in ponds and lagoons. Reportedly, both solid and chemical wastes, including gas cylinders, drums filled with paint sludge, and household garbage were disposed of at the landfill.

Paint sludge inside the drums was found to contain elevated levels of lead and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are potentially harmful contaminants that easily evaporate into the air. Soils on site were found to contain significant levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Groundwater sampling conducted in the aquifer beneath the site indicated the presence of several VOCs at levels that exceed federal drinking water standards. This poses a problem for the surrounding area because groundwater is the primary source of drinking water within 4 miles of the site. In addition, groundwater is used for irrigation of commercial food crops located near the site.

EPA is addressing the site in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial action. The initial immediate actions began in August 1999 and lasted through March 2000. During that period, EPA excavated and disposed of buried drums, cylinders, paint sludge waste, and the most heavily contaminated soil.  In 2003, 36 residences in the vicinity of the site which were impacted by site-related ground water contamination were connected to the public water supply.  In addition, in 2010, deeper drinking wells were installed at seven residences which were impacted by site-related ground water contamination.

In September 2010, the operation of a ground water extraction and treatment system began to minimize the migration of site-related ground water contamination off of the site property.  In September 2012, operation of the extraction and treatment system was expanded to capture and treat ground water contamination off of the site property. This system is currently treating ground water at a rate of over 200 gallons per minute.

From April 2010 through September 2011, 26,500 cubic yards of PCB-laden soil was excavated and removed from the site. Currently, the site property has since been restored.


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