In the early summer of 2013 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) seized control of a Landfill Closure project (former Fenimore landfill) in Roxbury Township being performed by a New Jersey construction contractor. According to the NJDEP, due to the poor management of materials being used by the contractor to cap the former landfill unknowingly creating emission of odorous noxious gases that impacted the surrounding neighborhood. The local Roxbury newspapers report that children at a local elementary school were becoming ill due to these odors. The NJDEP, responding to a mass outcry from the community, closed the project while it conducted the investigation that subsequently led to its seizure.
The NJDEP found that lapses in design and judgment by the contractor had the operator miss many reporting and construction deadlines. Moreover, many NJDEP-required safeguard controls were never installed and/or constructed.
In October 2014, the property was put to auction. However, nobody was willing to purchase it. Recent changes to the NJDEP’s Landfill Closure Regulations have made closure of former landfills far more complicated and costly, and thus far more risky for prospective purchasers. The regulations, which were in part created in reaction to the problems encountered at the Roxbury project, may significantly hamper landfill closure projects by private entities in the future. At this time the State has assumed control of the closure and hired a third-party contractor to complete the project. The Town of Roxbury is currently contemplating foreclosure on the property – however, that decision remains controversial at this time.
This story highlights the urgency of hiring qualified, licensed and insured environmental professionals when executing complex environmental engineering services. Impact Environmental is proud of its completion and compliance record associated with its many environmental cap construction projects performed in the the tri-state area over the past decade. Welcome to solid ground…