Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA To Cleanup Superfund Site In Morris County (Dover Municipal Well No. 4)

Release Date: 11/4/2005
Contact Information:

For Release: Friday, November 4, 2005

(#05131) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to address contaminated soil and ground water at the Dover Municipal Well No. 4 Superfund site by demolishing a building formerly occupied by a dry cleaner, excavating and disposing of over 2,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil, and treating the remaining contaminated soil and shallow ground water with oxidants to remove harmful chemicals. EPA will also test homes built above the contaminated ground water to ensure that vapors from the water are not entering the houses. The cleanup is expected to cost between $4.6 million and $4.9 million.

"By selecting a cleanup plan for this Superfund site, we are on the way to removing the source of contamination that could potentially affect the community," said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. "Once the cleanup is completed, we will monitor the site to ensure that the quality of the ground water improves over time."

The Dover Municipal Well No. 4 is a former public water supply well located in the Town of Dover, New Jersey. In March 1980, Dover and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) found chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), specifically trichloroethane, tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene, in ground water from the well. Based on this information, the town removed the well from service and used other wells that were not contaminated. The site was listed on the National Priorities List of the nation's most hazardous waste sites in September 1983. From the mid-1980s to 1990, the NJDEP performed various studies to better define the nature and extent of contamination in the ground water. While these studies showed that contamination was present in the ground water at various depths, the studies could not identify the source of the contamination.

Using site-related information provided by the NJDEP, EPA selected a cleanup for the ground water in September 1992. The Agency's cleanup included extracting and treating contaminated ground water, discharging treated ground water to either the public water supply system or reinjecting the treated water back into the ground, and environmental monitoring to ensure that the cleanup was effective.

In October 1992, NJDEP asked EPA to take the lead in cleaning up the site. Based on EPA's work, the Agency identified a dry cleaner on Route 46 as the source of the chlorinated VOCs found in Dover's Municipal Well No. 4. EPA then began a study to determine the extent of contamination from this dry cleaner. The Agency found soil on the dry cleaner's property contaminated with PCE at levels over 100 times the state's soil criteria of one part per million. EPA also found VOCs in the ground water, including PCE at levels over 8,000 times the safe drinking water standard of one part per billion.

The results led the Agency to determine that the cleanup selected in 1992 would not be effective unless the source of the contamination was removed. Studies showed that once EPA addressed the source of contamination, cleanup goals for ground water could be achieved within approximately 10 years, regardless of whether or not ground water was actively extracted and treated. As a result, the Agency's current cleanup plan no longer involves active cleanup of the ground water. EPA will remove the source of the contamination and monitor the ground water to ensure that the Agency's cleanup goals are met.

For information about the Superfund program, please visit the EPA Web site at: