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Cleanup Complete at Sayreville Landfill Superfund Site

Release Date: 11/15/2011
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez, 212-637-3664,

(New York, N.Y.) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed the cleanup of the Sayreville Landfill Superfund site in Sayreville, New Jersey and removed it from the Superfund list of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. The soil and ground water at the closed 30-acre landfill were contaminated with volatile organic compounds, cadmium, lead, benzene, arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. After a review of conditions at the site, the EPA determined that the cleanup continues to protect people’s health and the environment. The EPA proposed to delete the site from the Superfund list in August 2011 and encouraged members of the public to submit comments during a 30-day public comment period.

Volatile organic compounds can evaporate into the air and potentially impact people’s health. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause damage to a child’s ability to learn and a range of health problems in adults. Excessive exposure to cadmium can cause cancer and benzene is a known cancer-causing chemical. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a group of chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage, or other organic substances and can cause cancer.

Over 30 drums were removed from the site, a system to control stormwater and contain methane gas was installed and the site was capped. The work was done with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and overseen by EPA.

From 1971 to August 1977, the Sayreville Landfill was operated by the Borough of Sayreville as a licensed municipal landfill that accepted solid waste and some industrial waste. Hazardous waste was suspected of being dumped at the site during and after the landfill stopped operating in 1977. The site was added to the federal Superfund list in 1983.

Under Superfund law, EPA conducts reviews every five years at sites where cleanups are complete to evaluate if they are protective of people’s health and the environment. These periodic reviews will continue every five years.

For more information about the Superfund program in our region