Emmell's Septic Landfill
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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 addressed the site in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial action. The immediate actions began in August 1999 and lasted through March 2000. During this time, EPA excavated and disposed of buried drums, cylinders, paint sludge wastes, and the most heavily contaminated soil. In addition, residential wells which could potentially be impacted by the site were monitored during removal action. EPA detected elevated levels of site-related VOCs in a couple of nearby residences. To alleviate any risks, EPA installed water treatment systems in those residences. The long-term action involves the collection of surface soils, subsurface soil, and groundwater samples to try to fully characterize the nature and extent of contamination which may be related to the site.
EPA has removed 438 drums, 11 gas cylinders, and 28,046 cubic yards of soil and disposed of this material off-site. To aid the community, 3,500 gallons of bottled water was supplied to the residents whose potable wells were initially believed to have been potentially impacted by site-related contamination. In addition, 36 residents who were threatened by site-related groundwater contamination were connected to the public water supply.