DEP seizes control of Roxbury landfill

TRENTON – The state has taken control of a controversial landfill in Morris County in order to deal with environmental issues there.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday it had seized the Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury and launched “an emergency remediation project to protect the environment by controlling substances and odors emanating from the site.”

The action came on the heels of the governor signing a law Wednesday to deal with closure of the site.

“Roxbury residents have endured these odors for too long and deserve a resolution to this intolerable situation, which has severely compromised their quality of life and interfered with their normal day-to-day activities,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in announcing the seizure by DEP engineers and inspectors.

“I have directed our teams to move in immediately to take control of this landfill from the development firm that owns it but has allowed this problem to persist.”

Under the interim project launched today, the DEP response team is working with a contractor to seal an 18-acre area of the landfill with an environmentally-safe and proven effective concrete-like vapor barrier known as Posi-Shell. In addition, gas-flare systems will be installed, DEP stated.

According to DEP, Strategic Environmental Partners acquired the Fenimore Landfill in 2010 with plans to cap the site so it could be developed as a solar farm. In May 2012, however, DEP said that it issued a notice to terminate SEP’s authorization to cap the site because conditions had not been met.  Specifically, SEP had not installed the required gas-collection system, a leachate collection/treatment system or groundwater monitoring system, DEP stated. SEP also failed to open the required escrow fund and provide disclosure of sufficient funding for the project, DEP said.

During the remediation, no further deliveries of any material may be made or accepted by SEP without permission from DEP. SEP is also prohibited from interfering with remediation efforts

DEP said today that odor complaints or questions can be called into the 1-877-WARNDEP hotline. 

DEP seizes control of Roxbury landfill