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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Proposal Ensures Clean Drinking Water for Residents Impacted by Mansfield Dump Superfund Site in Byram, N.J.

06/13/2017
Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (rodriguez.elias@epa.gov)
212-637-3664

(New York, N.Y. – June 13, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed constructing a water line to connect certain residents to a drinking water supply as part of the cleanup of the Mansfield Trail Dump Superfund site in Byram Township, N.J. Under the proposal, EPA will connect about 18 impacted properties to the water system. These residences currently use private wells with water treatment systems that were installed during the earlier stages of the cleanup of this site.

"EPA is protecting residents of Byram from the threats of contaminated groundwater," said Catherine McCabe, Acting Regional Administrator. "This proposal ensures that people whose drinking water was impacted by the contamination at the site have a permanent source of clean drinking water.”

The Mansfield Trail Dump Superfund site is located near the intersection of the Mansfield bike path and Stanhope-Sparta Road. Sludge-like waste was dumped in trenches in the area and has contaminated the groundwater with volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals that easily become vapors or gases. The groundwater is used as a source of drinking water by all 18 impacted residents covered under the EPA’s water line construction proposal, and by a number of other area residents.  Vapors from the contaminated groundwater underneath some area homes have seeped into basements. Sampling by the Sussex County Department of Health in 2005 identified trichloroethylene, an organic solvent used in industrial processes, in residential drinking water wells along Brookwood and Ross Roads in Byram Township. Exposure to contaminants found at the site can have serious health impacts, damage the liver, impair the nervous system or increase the risk of cancer.

Because of the nature and complexity of contamination at the site, the investigation and cleanup of the site has been conducted in stages by EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Between 2005 and 2006, carbon water filtration and treatment systems were installed at the impacted properties to remove contaminants from their drinking water. In addition, NJDEP installed systems to reduce the intrusion of chemical vapors into the basements of five of the homes that tested positive for air pollutants. In 2012, the EPA removed 11,700 tons of contaminated material from the dump areas. EPA has completed the first phase of the investigation into the nature and extent of the groundwater contamination, and evaluated various options for an alternative water supply. Results from the second phase of EPA’s investigation, which is ongoing, will serve as the basis for future cleanup proposals.

EPA’s cleanup proposal announced today addresses the private drinking water wells impacted by groundwater contamination from the site by calling for a water line to be constructed to connect residents to a permanent alternate water supply. Those residents who choose to be connected to the water line will then have their private wells taken out of service. While engineering plans are being developed and the new water line is constructed, carbon water filtration and treatment systems will continue to be maintained and operated. Area groundwater will continue to be monitored. If monitoring reveals any potential impacts to homes beyond the approximately 18 impacted homes, connections to those homes will be offered, as necessary. In the next phase of the cleanup, contaminated groundwater will be addressed by EPA in a future cleanup proposal. The cost of this stage of the cleanup is estimated at $8.7 million.

EPA will hold a public meeting on June 27th, 2017 to explain the proposal, and take public comments. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Byram Township Municipal Building at 10 Mansfield Drive in Byram Township, NJ. Comments will be accepted until July 13th, 2017.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:

Anne Rosenblatt, Remedial Project Manager

U.S. EPA, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor

New York, NY 10007

Tel. (212) 637-4308

rosenblatt.anne@epa.gov

The cleanup proposal will be available at www.epa.gov/superfund/mansfield-trail

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