Governor Phil Murphy • Lt.Governor Sheila Oliver
new jersey department of environmental protection
NJ Home Page Services A to Z NJ FAQs NJ Departments/Agencies departments
site remediation program

SRP Home | DEP Home

Community RelationsSitesSkyline Service Center


Skyline Service Center

Ringwood Borough, Passaic County
PI #: 002539

Site Update
July 2004

Site History

In August 2003, three gasoline tanks and associated piping were removed from the Skyline Service Center as a result of a tank closure and replacement. A sheen was noted on the water in the excavation. This water is believed to be perched water as the tank field was installed by blasting into bedrock. A postexcavation soil sample at the pump island exceeded the applicable criteria for benzene, xylenes and Methyl tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE). A post excavation soil sample from the gasoline excavation exceeded said criteria for MTBE and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHC). Approximately 429 tons of soil was excavated.

In early February 2004 NJDEP received the Remedial Investigation report for the work performed the previous summer. At that point a case manager was assigned. On March 5, 2004 a letter was issued to the station owner requiring him to conduct a ground water investigation at the site, canvass the area to locate all permitted and unpermitted wells within 1,000 feet of the site, and sample those wells nearest the station. On or about March 15, the Ringwood Health Department mailed a notice to the residents with potable wells within 1,000 feet that this site had a discharge, was required to do a well search and asked that they participate in any well sampling.

Recent Actions

NJDEP required the initial sampling of 23 of the nearby potable wells; sampling commenced June 1, 2004. The preliminary results from that round indicated that one home had levels of MTBE and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) exceeding the Ground Water Quality Criteria. A directive was issued requiring provision of bottled water and a treatment system at the home within 72 hours. Both activities have taken place. The remaining wells had no contamination exceeding the applicable criteria, although some wells contained detectable levels of volatile organic compounds. The complete data packages for ten of the samples have been received by NJDEP and have undergone a quality control check.

Letters describing the sampling results were mailed to the owners of those ten homes.

Due to the elevated contaminant levels in the one home, NJDEP required that additional wells be sampled in that immediate area. Four homes were sampled from June 21 through 24. Preliminary results received on July 8 indicated that two of the homes had MTBE and/or TBA above applicable criteria. A directive requiring provision of bottled water and treatment systems was issued July 9. Treatment systems were installed in those two homes on July 9.

During a recent private well sampling event NJDEP audited the contractor performing the sampling. This audit confirmed that the contractor was following the correct sampling methodologies and procedures.

To aid in characterization of the ground water at the site, four monitoring wells were installed on the station property on July 6. Regulations require these wells stabilize for 14 days before they are sampled.


Additional private well sampling is continuing. The sampling will include wells within 1000' of those wells that have shown elevated contaminant levels.

Sampling of the four new monitoring wells is planned for the week of July 21. Analytical results would be expected approximately 2-3 weeks after sampling. Results of the monitoring well sampling will be placed in a repository at Borough Hall along with copies of other site-related documents.

An inspection will be conducted at the station to ensure that the current operations are in compliance with state regulations.

Site Update
December 9, 2004

Private Well Sampling

Preferred Tank Services (PTS) sampled 73 residential wells in June- August 2004 and 70 wells in October- November. (Anyone who has not received preliminary results from those tests should contact Mark Herzberg at (609) 633-1369). Five wells had Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) and/or Tertiary Butyl Alcohol (TBA) above drinking water standards. Four of those homes had treatment systems installed. The fifth well that exceeded standards is an irrigation well; no treatment was installed. The potable wells in the project area are expected to be sampled again in late January. Sampling will be conducted by NJDEP.

Point of Entry Treatment (POET) Systems

PTS installed treatment systems at the four homes with MTBE and/or TBA above drinking water standards. The most recent preliminary results (for samples taken during the first week of October) indicated that the treated water in the four homes met drinking water standards. The raw and treated water in these homes was sampled again earlier today. Results are expected in four weeks; preliminary results may be available sooner. Monitoring and maintenance of the POETs will be handled by NJDEP.

Water Supply

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) mapped all of the potable well test results to determine the extent of volatile organic contamination in the wells. Using the area of currently known contamination and the ground water flow direction, NJDEP delineated the Project Area shown in Attachment A. This area encompasses 81 lots of which 69 are developed and using wells as a potable supply. A list of the Blocks and lots is included.

NJDEP conducted a water supply alternative analysis in which long term water supply alternatives were evaluated for developed properties in the Project Area. The three alternatives evaluated are as follows:

  • Installation of Deeper Wells
  • Long Term Use of POET Systems
  • Connection to Public Water System

Three alternative water supplies were evaluated to determine their feasibility, reliability and cost. The alternatives considered were the installation of deeper wells, the long-term use of POETs and the connection to a public water system. The installation of deeper wells was not considered to be a feasible alternative due to the likelihood of future recontamination of the wells. Both the use of POETs and the connection to public water were considered to be feasible alternatives. The chart below summarizes the alternatives which were reviewed for the Project Area.

2. POETS YES YES $2,105,438
3. PUBLIC WATER YES YES $1,228,362

Based on the potable well data and the assumptions made in NJDEP’s Alternative Water Supply Analysis Report, the most reliable and cost effective water supply alternative for the Project Area would be Alternative #3, the connection to the public water supply system. The cost of this alternative is
estimated to be $1,228,362. The Analysis Report will be available at the Borough Hall or a copy can be mailed upon request. Comments can be directed to NJDEP at the address below.

Environmental Investigation

Monitoring Wells
Four monitor wells were installed on the Skyline Service Center property on July 6, 2004. The wells were sampled on July 26, 2004. Results included (all results in ppb):

Well Depth MTBE TBA
MW1 25-35' 320 1,500
MW2 10-15' 48 650
MW3 2-4' ND ND
MW4 2-11' 66 120

Surface Water
A seep near 16 Wildwood Terrace was sampled in August 2004. No MTBE or TBA was detected. The only volatile organic contaminant detected in the seep was 1.7 ppb of Toluene. The seep was sampled again on November 17; preliminary results indicated that there was no volatile organic compounds present. High Mountain Brook was sampled at four locations in early September 2004. The preliminary results indicated that no volatile organic compounds were detected in the four samples.

Site Inspection
A Standard Compliance Inspection of the Skyline Service Center was conducted on July 15, 2004. This included an examination of the three in-service underground storage tanks. An administrative violation related to the registration of the tanks was corrected in the field that day. The inspection also identified readings of organic vapors between the primary and secondary walls of the tanks. A vacuum test was required to insure that the system was sound. Since the field screening equipment does not discriminate between gasoline vapors and any organic vapors that may come from the resins used to manufacture the fiberglass tanks, the vacuum test is the best way to insure the system is tight. The vacuum test was completed on July 16 and the tanks were found to be tight.

Remedial Investigation
NJDEP will be handling the remedial investigation of the Skyline Service Center site. The need for additional monitoring wells and other environmental sampling will be evaluated as part of this investigation.


Related Links

Need More Information?

Mark Herzberg
Community Relations Coordinator
(609) 633-1369

Mike Flite
Case Manager
(609) 633-2424

Perry Cohn
Research Scientist
(609) 584-5367

Ringwood Borough
Chris Chapman
Ringwood Borough Health Officer
(973) 962-7079

NJDEP Reports available at:
Ringwood Municipal Building
60 Margaret King Avenue
(973) 962-7037

The report “MTBE in New Jersey’s
Environment” may also be viewed at