SETTLEMENT TO TRANSFORM WETLANDS AND FORESTS AROUND
LINDEN LANDFILL INTO FOCAL POINT FOR URBAN GREENWAY
(07/21) LINDEN - Department of Environmental Protection
Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today announced a major settlement
that will result in the final closure of the Linden Landfill and
sets the stage for preservation of surrounding woods and wetlands
along the heavily urbanized Rahway River for public enjoyment.
"Through this settlement, Linden is making a significant investment
in a healthier environment for its residents while creating a destination
that will enhance the quality of life in one of New Jersey's most
densely populated areas," said Commissioner Jackson, who made
the announcement in conjunction with Earth Week. "This settlement
is in keeping with the spirit of Earth Week by demonstrating the
state's commitment to finding creative ways to correct past environmental
The Administrative Consent
Order between Linden and DEP requires the city to finish properly
closing the landfill and to enhance 50 acres of surrounding forest
areas and wetlands that will be the core of a Linden City Greenway.
city also agreed to pay $1 million to settle past violations of
DEP landfill closure requirements. The settlement sets aside an
additional $2 million to create opportunities for the public to
enjoy fishing, hiking trails, boating, and wildlife viewing.
greenway and interpretive programs established through the settlement
will be important components of a future greenway network that
will enhance public appreciation and enjoyment of the Rahway watershed.
"Thanks to the commitment of environmental groups and local
government, the Rahway River is recovering from its industrial past,"
Commissioner Jackson added. "While the river remains vital
to commerce, this settlement recognizes its importance in supporting
wildlife, providing drinking water, and satisfying the recreational
needs of area residents."
the Administrative Consent Order requires:
- Payment by the city of a $1 million penalty for DEP violations,
including improper closure of the landfill and disturbance of
wetlands caused by installation of a clay containment wall;
- Linden's commitment of an additional $1 million for greenway
access projects and establishment of education and interpretive
programs in conjunction with a non-profit environmental group;
- DEP commitment of $1 million in matching money for greenway
projects that comes from a separate settlement with Merck & Co.
for natural resource damages associated with contamination of
ground water in the area. Ten additional acres of wetlands preserved
as part of this settlement will be made part of the greenway.
Linden Landfill, encompassing 55 acres on Lower Road, began accepting
municipal waste more than 50 years ago, prior to state oversight
of landfills as authorized by the Solid Waste Management Act. It
was one of the last of the old municipal landfills to close when
it ceased operations on Jan. 1, 2000.
Over the years, the city
made significant progress toward closing the landfill by installing
the containment wall and systems to control leachate and storm
The DEP-approved closure plan allowed the city to use material
dredged from the Arthur Kill for grading in preparation for final
capping. The city began placing the material on the landfill in
But the city and its contractor did not follow conditions
for acceptance of the material and other requirements of the closure
plan. DEP issued a series of violation notices and civil penalty
The settlement requires the city to verify that contaminated soil
and processed dredged material that migrated off the landfill and
into surrounding wetlands have been cleaned up. The city must complete
all closure activities by June 1, and provide long-term post-closure