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NPL Site Narrative for Rolling Knolls Landfill

ROLLING KNOLLS LANDFILL
Chatham Township, New Jersey

Federal Register Notice:  September 29, 2003 (PDF) (8 pp, 192K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (April 30, 2003): The Rolling Knolls Landfill facility is an approximately 200-acre, unlined, former municipal landfill located at 35 Britten Road in the Green Village section of Chatham Township, Morris County, New Jersey. The facility is bound by the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to the east, south, and west; Loantaka Brook and private property to the west; and private residential properties to the north and northwest. The Rolling Knolls Landfill overlaps the Refuge on its eastern and southern sides.

The Rolling Knolls facility operated as a municipal landfill from the early 1930s through December 1968. During that time, Rolling Knolls Landfill received municipal solid waste, as well as construction and demolition debris from surrounding municipalities. Chatham Township Board of Health (CTBH) records indicate that the types of wastes deposited at Rolling Knolls included tree stumps, scrap metal, tires, household refuse, residential septage wastes, and industrial waste. In order to comply with health code regulations adopted in 1959, operational procedures at the facility included the application of pesticides to control weeds, insects, and rodents, as well as the application of oil on facility roadways to control dust. In addition, health code regulation also required the application of minimal daily cover (6 inches) to all exposed surfaces including the face of the fill. Chatham Township records indicate that semi-liquid swamp muck was picked up from the edge of the landfill using a dragline and applied as the daily cover.

One source has been identified for the HRS evaluation of the site: The Rolling Knolls Landfill. Analytical results of soil samples collected from the site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the May 1999 Expanded Site Inspection (ESI), indicate elevated levels (i.e., above regulatory levels) of metals, phthalates, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The facility is bound by the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to the east, south, and west. The Refuge is a designated national wildlife refuge and is habitat known to be used by state- and federally-designated or proposed endangered or threatened species. There is a documented observed release of mercury and PCBs to a surface water/sediment sampling location in a portion of the landfill that is situated within the boundaries of the Refuge.

Drainage from the landfill flows directly to Black Brook and to Great Brook via Loantaka Brook. All are perennial streams that ultimately discharge to the Passaic River. The Passaic River supports human food chain species and is fished.

The waste source samples collected from the landfill by EPA in May 1999 document contamination. The southern and eastern portions of the Rolling Knolls Landfill lie within the boundaries of the Refuge, which is a designated national wildlife refuge and wilderness area, and is habitat known to be used by state- and federally-designated or proposed endangered or threatened species. Therefore, waste source samples collected from the landfill by EPA in May 1999 document actual contamination of a terrestrial sensitive environment. Private, residential properties border the facility on the west, north, and northwest. Waste source samples collected by EPA in May 1999 document potential exposure of nearby residents. The Rolling Knolls facility is accessible and is not covered by a permanent, or otherwise maintained essentially impenetrable material.

Status (September 2003): EPA is considering various alternatives for this site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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