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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2004

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

BURNT FLY BOG SOIL CLEANUP AND WETLANDS RESTORATION COMPLETE

Marks Final Action for Marlboro Superfund Site

(04/87) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced completion of a $14 million cleanup at Burnt Fly Bog Superfund site in Marlboro where more than 55,000 tons of PCB and lead contaminated soil were removed and seven acres of wetlands restored with vegetation.

"The completion of this cleanup is important not only for the restoration of the wetlands that connect to the nearby Deep Run and Lower Raritan watershed, but also for the Marlboro community that has waited too long for this polluted site to no longer pose the serious health threat it once did," said Commissioner Campbell. "The oaks, sour gums and ferns we planted soon will thrive to reclaim this Superfund site as a natural habitat."

DEP contractors conducted the soil work at the Northerly Wetlands and Tar Patch areas of the site from May 2003 to May 2004. Since then, the excavated wetland areas have been restored with clean soil and approximately 9,500 bushes, small trees and groundcover. The wetland area is expected to reestablish itself within 10 to 15 years.

This action is the third and final major cleanup project completed by DEP at the Burnt Fly Bog site that comprises 1,700 acres, of which approximately 60 were contaminated. DEP now will conduct long-term monitoring of the entire site including ground water and stream sampling to ensure past cleanup work remains protective of public health and the environment. Annual costs for this work will average about $55,000, which will be paid for with state Corporate Business Tax funds dedicated for cleanups.

"While this is a major victory for Marlboro, we need federal leadership to reinstate the Superfund tax on oil and chemical companies to finance toxic cleanups," said Commissioner Campbell. "A strong federal hazardous waste cleanup program is essential to effect timely cleanups that ensure a safe and healthy environment."

Federal and state funds already spent for investigation and cleanup work at this site total $52.5 million from the Superfund Trust and $7.1 million from state cleanup funds. DEP is pursuing recovery of its costs associated with cleaning up this site with support from the Division of Law in the Attorney General's office through litigation against potential responsible parties. DEP also filed a natural resource damage claim against these parties.

Site Background

The Burnt Fly Bog site is located on a ground water discharge area of the Englishtown aquifer, where ground water flows to the surface and drains into Deep Run. During the 1950s and 1960s, waste oil was stored in several unlined lagoons encompassing 10 acres of the property. The lagoon area became known as the Uplands. Waste oil from the Uplands eventually contaminated other areas, which became known as the Northerly Wetlands, Tar Patch, Westerly Wetlands and Downstream Area.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added Burnt Fly Bog to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites in 1983. Between 1985 and 1989, DEP conducted several remedial actions in the Uplands including the removal and off-site disposal of approximately 85,000 tons of contaminated soil, stabilization of sludge and installation of a clay cap over the area. Remediation of the Uplands area was completed in 1992 after DEP removed about 700 tons of stockpiled PCB-contaminated soil and transported it off site for incineration.

In 1996, DEP completed excavation and off-site disposal of approximately 12,000 tons of contaminated soil and sediments from the Downstream Area and construction of a sedimentation basin to prevent contaminated sediments from the Westerly Wetlands and other areas from migrating off site. The Westerly Wetlands were left intact to be followed by long-term biological sampling to monitor the impact of contaminants on wildlife.

 

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