(New York, N.Y. – October 5, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a $19.5 million cleanup plan for the Fair Lawn Well Field Superfund site in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Previous industrial and commercial activities at the site contaminated the soil and groundwater with chlorinated volatile organic compounds. EPA will expand and enhance the system that extracts and treats the contaminated groundwater at the site.
“EPA’s groundwater cleanup plan complements the state’s work to control the source of contamination and reflects years of thorough scientific studies and collaboration with our state and local partners,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “By upgrading the groundwater treatment system, we are maximizing the removal of contaminants and ensuring the protection of people’s health.”
"I don't want any parents in Bergen County, in the Fifth District, or anywhere in New Jersey to have to worry if the water their children are drinking is safe. It’s important for the EPA to move forward and clean up the Fair Lawn Well Field Superfund site, removing harmful groundwater contaminants and making sure the site is monitored over the long term. We need to work together to ensure every North Jersey family has access to clean, safe drinking water," said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).
EPA held a public meeting in August 2018 to explain its cleanup proposal, discuss the other cleanup options that were considered, and to solicit public comments. To read the EPA’s selected cleanup plan, visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/fair-lawn-wellfield or view a direct link to the EPA’s Record of Decision at https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/02/550183
Most of the contamination at the Superfund site comes from the Fair Lawn Industrial Park, which contaminated the groundwater and some municipal wells with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including 1,4 dioxane. The impacted municipal supply wells are currently not used for the public water supply but the groundwater is being treated to remove contaminants and discharged to Henderson Brook. The Westmoreland Well Field treatment system will be upgraded to also address 1,4 dioxane. To ensure that the public is provided with a clean, secure drinking water supply, Fair Lawn is relying on other sources of water until the cleanup plan can be implemented.
Previous cleanup actions by the potentially responsible parties included investigation of soil and groundwater, removal and disposal of contaminated soil, long-term monitoring of groundwater quality, and payment to the Borough of Fair Lawn for the installation, operation, and maintenance of the groundwater treatment system at the Westmoreland Well Field.
Groundwater treatment is ongoing and preventing the contaminated groundwater from spreading, while efforts by the State of New Jersey are addressing the sources of contamination. EPA’s cleanup plan will upgrade the groundwater treatment equipment at the Westmoreland Well Field and it will remove the contaminant 1,4 dioxane. Additionally, the two other municipal wells at the Westmoreland Well Field will be re-started, if feasible, to further control the contaminated plume. EPA’s cleanup plan includes long-term monitoring and measures to restrict the use of untreated groundwater from the site. Throughout the cleanup, monitoring, testing, and further studies will be conducted to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup.
The Superfund program has been providing important health benefits to communities across the country for more than 35 years. Superfund cleanups also strengthen local economies. Data collected through 2017 shows that at 487 Superfund sites in reuse, approximately 6,600 businesses are generating $43.6 billion in sales and employ 156,000 people who earned a combined income of $11.2 billion.
Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill and strengthen EPA’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment.
On the one-year anniversary of the EPA’s Superfund Task Force Report, EPA announced significant progress in carrying out the report’s recommendations. These achievements will provide certainty to communities, state partners, and developers that the nation’s most hazardous sites will be cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.
EPA’s “Superfund Task Force Recommendations 2018 Update” is available at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations-2018-update.