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June 29, 2005

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795


Groundwater and Soil Treatment Will Protect Public Drinking Water Supply

TRENTON (05/89) -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced the start of a $1.25 million groundwater and soil cleanup by Alliant Techsystems at the Rockaway Township Wells Superfund site in Morris County.

"Protecting Rockaway Township's drinking water supply safeguards the health of this community," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "We will diligently enforce the cleanup of New Jersey's water resources where pollution from leaking tanks and other sources threatens public health."

Contamination found in the 1980s at the Rockaway Township Wells Superfund site originated from the former Naval Industrial Reserve Plant, which is now the Denville Technical Park and located near the township's drinking water wells. Underground storage tanks and degreasing units at the former Naval Industrial Reserve Plant, which held a variety of materials including solvents with trichloroethylene, were sources of the pollution. At that time, Rockaway Township installed an activated carbon adsorption system and air-stripping unit at the township's drinking water wells to treat groundwater prior to distribution to ensure a safe public water supply.

"This cleanup finally begins restoration of groundwater resources so vital to the Rockaway Township community," said Commissioner Campbell. "Responsible party funding for the cleanup saves taxpayers money while providing for long-term monitoring of the site."

Constructed at the Denville Technical Park, the new treatment system began operating June 6 to extract and treat soil vapors and groundwater contaminated beneath the site. The extracted groundwater is treated in an air-stripping unit and discharged to the Beaver Brook. The extracted vapors are treated in an activated carbon unit and discharged to the atmosphere.

The new treatment system is designed to extract 68 gallons per minute of contaminated groundwater and 450 cubic feet per minute of contaminated vapors. There are 12 soil vapor extraction wells, three groundwater extraction wells and three dual-phase extraction wells that extract both vapors and groundwater.

The Rockaway Township Wells site was placed on the National Priorities List of Superfund sites in 1983 after the volatile organic compounds and gasoline additives were detected. Currently, the township uses only the air-stripping unit for routine water treatment at its drinking water well system, but still uses the carbon adsorption treatment system whenever the air-stripping unit is taken out of service for maintenance or repair.

DEP investigations in the 1980s also identified two gas stations on Green Pond Road as other sources of groundwater contamination in the vicinity of the Rockaway Township Wells site, in addition to the Denville Technical Park. Contamination from both a Shell and Exxon service station has been addressed by parties responsible for those sites under DEP oversight and no further action is required at these locations.

Alliant Techsystems is responsible for constructing and operating the treatment system. Although Alliant Techsystems did not contaminate the site, it assumed the responsibility for the cleanup in 2001 when it became a corporate successor of the operators of the former Naval Industrial Reserve Plant. The total cost of remediation work at the Rockaway Township Wells site is approximately $4 million.

Alliant Techsystems also is responsible for the operation and maintenance costs of the air-stripping unit on Rockaway Township's drinking water wells.



NJDEP SRWM Superfund


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