What EPA Says

  • The Environmental Protection Agency has conducted extensive analysis of the Ringwood Superfund Site, the remedial proposals and related concerns – also collecting and integrating high volumes of data and commentary from the local community. This particularly has been true in the development, which was amended by the Explanation of Significant Differences, relating to the remedial plan for all three areas in the Ringwood Superfund area. The Agency also has made numerous key public documents available to the public through its own website on this topic.  Below is a list of some key documents, letters and excerpts released by the EPA:


    Letter from EPA Acting Deputy Regional Administrator Walter Mugden to U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer regarding the protectiveness of the selected remedy for the OCDA

    October 4, 2017 Letter from EPA Acting Deputy Regional Administrator Walter Mugden to U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer regarding the protectiveness of the selected remedy for the OCDA.

    Key excerpts:

    “Therefore, EPA’s conclusion that the capping remedy for the OCDA will be fully protective of human health and the environment is unchanged.”

    “Furthermore, 1,4-dioxane was not detected in samples collected from the Wanaque Reservoir by the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission in 2013 and 2016.  Similarly, 1,4-dioxane was not detected at levels of concern in water samples collected by the Borough of Ringwood from their municipal wells in 2013 and 2016.  These data indicate that the Wanaque Reservoir and the Borough of Ringwood’s municipal wells have not been impacted by site contamination and are not expected to be in the future.”

    June, 2017 EPA Statement on Jacobs May, 2017 Report “Final Report of the Potential Fate and Transport of Benzene, 1,4 -Dioxane, Lead and Arsenic at the Ringwood Mines Superfund Site Relative to the Wanaque Reservoir”

    Full Document:

    Link to June, 2017 EPA Statement on Jacobs May, 2017 Report “Final Report of the Potential Fate and Transport of Benzene, 1,4 -Dioxane, Lead and Arsenic at the Ringwood Mines Superfund Site Relative to the Wanaque Reservoir” prepared on behalf of the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission.

    Key excerpts by topic include:


    Protectiveness of the Cleanup Plan and the Wanaque Reservoir:

     *  “The NJDWSC Report does not contain any new information that calls into question the protectiveness of the cleanup plan already selected for fill material in the Peter’s Mine Pit, Cannon Mine Pit and O’Connor Disposal Areas of the Site.”

    * ".  . . 1,4-dioxane is present at low levels at locations in streams near the Site, but it has not been detected in samples collected from the Wanaque Reservoir by the NJDWSC in 2013 and 2016 or in stream samples near the reservoir.  This data indicates that the Wanaque Reservoir has not been impacted by Site contamination and is not expected to be impacted by Site contamination in the future.”

    January 20, 2017 “Cornerstone Letter Report on Focused OCDA Investigation”:

    Full Document:

    January 20, 2017 “Cornerstone Letter Report on Focused OCDA Investigation” 

    Key excerpts:

    * In November, 2016 Ford proposed (and EPA approved) a sampling plan within the former SR area in OCDA to test for 1,4 dioxane (to determine whether there remained a localized source of 1,4 dioxane in OCDA) and also tested two samples of paint waste surficial fragments collected from within OCDA.

    * “The objective of the focused investigation was to assess whether or not a localized source of 1,4-dioxane exists within the former paint waste removal area within the OCDA.  As shown in the enclosed Figure 1, this former paint waste removal area is hydraulically up-gradient of groundwater monitoring well OB-17 in which groundwater samples have exhibited a concentration of 1,4-dioxane above its New Jersey Interim Specific Groundwater Quality Criterion.”

    * During December 12-15, 2016, Cornerstone collected a total of 43 samples (41 native samples and two blind duplicates) from a sampling grid within the former SR area.  1,4 dioxane was not detected in any of the 43 samples collected and no paint waste was identified in any of the borings.  Two samples of paint waste surficial fragments were collected from within OCDA and also analyzed for 1,4 dioxane.  The lab results indicate that no 1,4 dioxane was reported in either of the two paint waste samples.  Therefore, a localized source of 1,4 dioxane was not identified in OCDA

    * “All results are therefore ND (non-detect) at a typical method detection limit of approximately 4.0 ug/kg.”

    Janury 12, 2017 Letter from John Prince, Acting Director, Emergency & Remedial Response Division for EPA Region 2

    Full Document:

    Letter from John Prince, Acting Director, Emergency & Remedial Response Division for EPA Region 2 in response to January 12, 2017 letter from Lisa Chiang (Spokesperson for Ringwood C.A.R.E.S., Robert Spiegel, EWA and Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Sierra Club)

    Key excerpts by topic include:

    Concerns about subsidence issues related to historic mining activities at the site:

    * "The results of these studies indicated that cleanup work in these areas did not result in vibration levels at residential properties which could cause subsidence issues.

    * "As noted in the August 7, 2015 Remedial Design Work Plan for OU2, no addition work was identified as being required to address mine-related subsidence issues.”

    Health and Safety Plan (HASP) for the Site that reflects specific risks at the site:

    * "Please note that it is EPA’s policy to require the preparation of HASPs at all Superfund sites to ensure that cleanup efforts are conducted in a safe and protective manner. . .. EPA will make this HASP available to the public, once it is prepared.”

    Request for a pilot project to demonstrate that the OU2 work can be conducted safely prior to implementation of the full-scale cleanup:

    * "Therefore, performance of a demonstration project is not warranted, as the OU2 remedy will be conducted solely on property owned by the Borough of Ringwood or the State of New Jersey.  It should be noted, however, that the past performance of numerous paint sludge removal actions and residential property cleanup actions at the Site has demonstrated that cleanup work can be conducted in a safe manner.”

    December 6, 2016 EPA presentation at public meeting regarding the results and data from the August 2016 Annual Groundwater and Surface Investigation sampling event:

    Full Document:

    EPA presentation at Dec. 6, 2016 public meeting regarding the results and data from the August 2016 Annual Groundwater and Surface Investigation sampling event (Power Point Presentation) 

    Key excerpts:

    Power Point Page Entitled “1,4-Dioxane – Conclusions”

    * "1,4 dioxane has not been detected in any groundwater or surface water sample from the site at concentrations in excess of EPA’s lifetime health advisory of 200 ug/L for drinking water.”

    * "1,4 dioxane was not detected in water samples collected from the Wanaque Reservoir by the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission in 2013 and 2016.”

    * "Surface water sampling results indicate that 1,4-Dioxane originating from the Site is not migrating to the Wanaque Reservoir.”

     * "Residents receive their water from public water supplies.  These supplies routinely test their water; tests reveal the water meets all appropriate standards.”

    * 1,4 dioxane does not present a significant threat human health under current Site circumstances; no one is drinking the groundwater at the site or otherwise exposed to significant levels of 1,4 dioxane.

    November 2016 EPA Fact Sheet “Ringwood Mines Landfill Superfund Site – New Groundwater Sampling Data”

    Full Document:

    November 2016 EPA Fact Sheet “Ringwood Mines Landfill Superfund Site – New Groundwater Sampling Data” 

    Key excerpts by topic include:

    Ground Water and the Wanaque Reservoir:

    * "There is no evidence that the groundwater is impacting the Wanaque Reservoir.”

    * "Although benzene and 1,4 dioxane continue to be detected, the levels do not present an imminent health threat as the water is not used for drinking.”

    * "1,4 dioxane has never been detected in the Wanaque Reservoir.”

    August 8, 2016 Letter from Walter Mugdan, Director, Emergency & Remedial Response Division for EPA Region 2 to Ringwood Borough Administrator Scott Heck:

    Full Document:

    August 8, 2016 Letter from Walter Mugdan, Director, Emergency & Remedial Response Division for EPA Region 2 to Ringwood Borough Administrator Scott Heck re: detections of 1,4 dioxane at OCDA site.

    Key excerpts:

    * "The results for one shallow well (OB-17) located adjacent to the southern end of the OCDA show concentrations of 1,4 dioxane above the New Jersey interim standard, but the OCDA does not appear to contribute significantly to the 1,4 dioxane present in groundwater and surface water at the site.  As the EPA has previously stated, the concentrations of 1,4 dioxane detected at the Ringwood Mines site present no risk to human health or the environment.”

    April 29, 2016 Letter from Walter Mugdan, Director, Emergency & Remedial Response Division for EPA Region 2 to Ringwood Borough Administrator Scott Heck:

    Full Document:

    April 29, 2016 Letter from Walter Mugdan, Director, Emergency & Remedial Response Division for EPA Region 2 to Ringwood Borough Administrator Scott Heck re: detections of 1,4 dioxane in groundwater. 

    Key excerpts:

    * "EPA does not believe that the recent detections of 1,4 dioxane in groundwater and surface water in the Peter’s Mine Pit Area of the site call into question the protectiveness of the containment remedy for the OCDA.  EPA representatives have reiterated this determination during recent meetings of the Ringwood CAG and in discussions with the media.”

    March 1, 2016 – Ringwood CAG Meeting, EPA Power Point Presentation “Summary of 2015 Groundwater Investigations:

    Full Document:

    March 1, 2016 – Ringwood CAG Meeting, EPA Power Point Presentation “Summary of 2015 Groundwater Investigations”

    April 10, 2015 Letter from Walter E. Mugdan, Director, Emergency & Remedial Response Division for EPA Region 2.

    Full Document:

    Letter from Walter E. Mugdan responding to correspondence from Robert Spiegel, Edison Wetlands Association (CAG facilitator at the time) dated February 27, 2015 and March 14, 2015.

    Key excerpts by topic include:

    Public Communication and Preparation for the June 30, 2014 Record of Decision: 

    * Site-related documents such as the Remedial Investigation, Feasibility Study and other interim submittal prepared for Peter’s Mine Pit, Cannon Mine Pit and O’Connor Disposal Areas were all shared with the Community Action Group and their technical advisor (Richard Chapin at the time) prior to finalization in order to consider their concerns. 

    * Following EPA’s issuance of the Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP) for the Site in Fall, 2013, the public comment period was extended twice resulting in a four-month public comment period from Oct. 2, 2013 through Feb. 5, 2014 which included an EPA conducted public meeting on Nov. 7, 2013 during which EPA presented the findings of the RI/FS and the PRAP to the community and public.  EPA answered all questions concerning the remedial alternatives and every attendee who wished to do so were given the opportunity to speak.

    * EPA answered all questions concerning the remedial alternatives and every attendee who wished to do so were given the opportunity to speak. (LINK to copy of List of Attendees.)

     

    * All comments contained in the 36 technical memoranda were previously considered by EPA and incorporated into the site cleanup process, as appropriate; and all are part of the administrative record. 

    * "Therefore, the EPA believes that the Responsiveness Summary section of the June 30, 2014 ROD is complete and of appropriate quality to support the EPA’s selected remedy.” (Link to Summary section of the June 30, 2014 ROD)

    Investigation and Categorization of Pain Sludge at the Site: 

    * ". . . the EPA has required extensive efforts to identify the presence of paint sludge in the disposal areas.  At the O’Connor Disposal Area, 14 test trenches and 10 test pits were installed during the 2006-2007 investigation.  In addition, 3169 linear feet (8 trenches) were installed during the 2010 investigation.  In 2010, 2200 tons of paint sludge and 5 drums of waste were removed from the O’Connor Disposal Area.  At Peter’s Mine Pit Area 270 cubic yards of paint sludge, soil and drum remnants were removed in 2011.  The ROD specifically notes that paint sludge or drums of waste encountered in the Peter’s Mine Pit Area or Cannon Mine Pit Area during the future remedy implementation would be removed from the site; the EPA would also impose this requirement at the O’Connor Disposal Area if the contingency remedy is implemented.”

    * "Furthermore, an evaluation of cleanup alternatives for site wastes presented in the June 30, 2014 ROD demonstrates that Ford wastes remaining at the site can be reliably contained in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment.”

    * "Therefore, the EPA does not believe that it would be appropriate to designate the existence of Principal Threat Waste at the site.”

    Lead and arsenic effect on water quality:

    * ". . . lead and arsenic are not migrating off site via surface water at levels in excess of drinking water standards.”

    The effect of the Site on the Wanaque Reservoir:

    * Therefore, data do not indicate that the site is serving as a source of contamination to the Wanaque Reservoir.”

    The former Borough Landfill at the site:

    * ". . . . NJDEP found that no additional cleanup actions were warranted at the landfill . . . the EPA does not
            believe that additional investigation of the landfill is warranted.”