The Cleanup Of The Landfill

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Background In Mantua Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey, privately owned land once stood as one of the most hazardous waste sites in the United States. This site known as the Helen Kramer Landfill included 66-acres of waste, 11 acres of unfavorably conditioned vegetation, and no onsite residents. Prior to the early 1960’s, Helen Keller landfill was a sand and gravel excavation operation, but soon began to incorporate the disposal of waste material for about a decade. After the landfill received numerous inspections and notices between 1971 and 1977, the owner Helen Kramer was informed to cease operation of the landfill. As New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reports indicated and area residents stated, “sporadic chemical…show more content…
Assessments began to take place in the mid 1980’s, shortly after the site made the National Priorities list in 1983. Relevant standards and guidance levels were used to measure the effect of the Helen Kramer Landfill. The initiation of the EPA’s remedial investigation and feasibility study deemed the nature of the Helen Kramer landfill as an extreme risk to the environment, characterizing the site “by randomly placed, uncompacted, and uncovered refuse, with numerous settlement cracks which vented methane and water vapor” (2). According to the EPA, several million gallons of chemical wastes and over two million cubic yards of solid waste were estimated to have been disposed of at the landfill (2). Studies were performed by the EPA, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, federal natural resource trustees in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to evaluate the onsite and nearby environmental effects due to the landfill. During these studies, contaminants were detected in air, sediments, and aquifers, including high levels of volatile organic compounds and heavy metals in the air and sediments. VOCS and heavy metals expose humans to carcinogens, developmental toxicants, and reproductive toxicants. The assessments also detected numerous contaminants such as (but not limited to),
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