- The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)
and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
(ATSDR) have released for public comment a health
assessment on Emmell's Septic Landfill in Atlantic County. The
public may submit written comments on the assessment through November
draft assessment concludes that the site represented a public health
hazard in the past due to a completed human exposure pathway to
contaminants via groundwater in private wells. Those private wells
were closed, deeper ones were installed, and all affected residences
installed point-of-entry treatment systems. As a result of these
actions, the site poses no apparent public health hazard today.
1967 to 1979, the site operated as a septic waste disposal facility.
In 1974, a solid waste facility permit was issued allowing the site
to be used for the disposal of sewage and septic sludge wastes into
ponds, trenches and lagoons. In addition, solid and chemical wastes,
including drums containing paint, gas cylinders, tires and construction
and industrial debris, were also dumped on the site. These wastes
seeped into the groundwater, contaminating nearby private drinking
water wells. Chemicals wastes included polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs), hydrocarbons and metals in the soil, and metals and volatile
organic compounds (VOCs) in the water.
were first reported in drinking wells on Lisa Drive in tests conducted
by the Atlantic County Health Departments in 1984 and 1988. The
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection closed the affected
wells and provided new, deeper wells. The United States Environmental
Protection Agency (USEPA) also found site-related VOCs in wells
on Lisa Drive and Leibig and Zurich Avenues in 1999.
DHSS and ATSDR are recommending that residents with contaminated
wells continue to use treated or alternate water supplies, and maintain
treatments systems to reduce the levels of contamination in their
drinking water. Residents concerned about their children's exposures
to lead should also take advantage of the Atlantic County Health
Department's lead screening program. In addition, the USEPA is currently
documenting the site's potential impact on the environment. The
site will be reevaluated when new data and information are available.
public is invited to submit written comments on the health assessment
through November 24, 2001 to: Health Assessment Project Manager,
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Consumer and
Environmental Health Services, P.O. Box 369, Trenton NJ 08625-0369.
of the document and an accompanying
citizens guide are available
for public review at the Atlantic County Health Department, 201
S. Shore Road, Northfield, NJ 08225. Copies may also be obtained
by calling the department at 609-588-3120, or by visiting the departments
web site at www.state.nj.us/health.
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