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Settlement Addresses Groundwater Cleanup at Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site in New Jersey

An August 5, 2020, court-approved consent decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ford Motor Company and the Borough of Ringwood provides for cleanup work at Operable Unit (OU) 2 of the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund site in New Jersey. Under the agreement, valued at $21.2 million, Ford and the Borough will pay approximately $17.6 million to clean up OU2 and reimburse the EPA approximately $3.6 million for its past cleanup costs.

The cleanup work involves excavation and capping of lead-contaminated soil and fill material, consolidation of fill, and a permeable engineered cap, as well as long-term groundwater and surface water monitoring to ensure protection of drinking water. Additionally, the cleanup plan calls for the construction of a new recycling center and conversion of an existing recycling center to greenspace for the surrounding community.

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Information about the Ringwood Realty Corporation

The Ringwood Realty Corporation (RRC) was a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company and owned the property from 1965 to 1974. Beginning in 1967, RRC began disposing and/or allowing others to dispose of various types of waste materials, including scrap car parts, paint sludge, and drums containing hardened sealing and insulating material generated at the Ford facility in Mahwah, New Jersey. RRC also directed O’Connor Trucking and Haulage Corporate, a Ford contractor, to dispose of waste material from Ford in various areas of the site.

Information about the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site

The Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund site comprises approximately 500 acres in a rural area of Passaic County, New Jersey. The site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1983. The Agency removed the site from the NPL in 1994; however, in 2004 significant amounts of paint sludge was discovered and the site was returned to the NPL.

Approximately 1.5 miles long and 0.5 miles wide, the site includes abandoned mine shafts and surface pits, an inactive landfill, an industrial refuse disposal area, small surficial dumps, a municipal recycling center, the Ringwood Borough garage, and about 50 private homes. Many of the residents living within the site are members of the Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation, which is recognized as a tribe by the state of New Jersey. Portions of the site are currently utilized as Ringwood State Park, utility corridors, Borough facilities, and Borough open space. The site is drained by four brooks that ultimately lead to the Wanaque Reservoir, located approximately one mile south of the site. Operable Unit 2 is divided into three areas of concern: the Peters Mine Pit, the Cannon Mine Pit Area, and the O’Connor Disposal Area. All three areas contain waste, fill material, and contaminated soil.

More information about the site is available on the Agency’s Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund site profile webpage.

Overview of the Consent Decree for Remedial Action

The consent decree, approved by the District Court of New Jersey, requires Ford and the Borough of Ringwood to perform the cleanup work as selected in the record of decision—and later altered by an explanation of significant differences—for OU2 , including the excavation of lead-contaminated soil, off-site removal of drummed waste, and construction of remedial caps. The consent decree is unique in its division of financial assurance responsibilities between the EPA and the state. This division addresses the state’s concerns about having sufficient funds to support operation and maintenance (O&M) costs in the event the settling defendants fail to perform or are unable to perform the O&M in the future.

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Contact Information

For more information contact:

Jeffrey Mansbach
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460

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