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RINGWOOD, N.J. (January 30, 2020) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a cleanup plan to address groundwater and mine water contamination at the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site in Ringwood, New Jersey. EPA’s proposed plan to address contaminants in groundwater at the site provides for the installation of wells near the Peters Mine Pit and Peters Mine Pit Airshaft, perpendicular to the direction of groundwater flow, to introduce an oxygen-releasing compound into the aquifer to enhance the breakdown of contaminants.

“EPA has been closely engaged with the community through public information sessions and the Community Advisory Group meetings. These critical engagements with community stakeholders have provided EPA with significant insight into the concerns of the local community, which will be considered by EPA as we work to select a final remedy for the site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “While EPA believes this remedy is the best in terms of being protective and feasible, we seek and welcome input from impacted communities throughout the Superfund cleanup process, and I encourage people to give us input on this proposed plan.”

EPA’s proposed plan also addresses contaminants in mine water in the Peters Mine Pit Airshaft by adding granular activated carbon and resin into the Peters Mine Pit Airshaft to treat contaminants. The Peters Mine Pit Airshaft would then be closed using conventional mine shaft closure technology. The specific technology will be determined during the design of the cleanup.

With these combined actions, EPA expects to address an ongoing source of groundwater contamination and help the aquifer to recover. This plan also provides for long-term groundwater and surface water monitoring to ensure the protection of drinking water resources.

Throughout the cleanup, EPA will monitor the cleanup progress and, after the remedy has been fully implemented, conduct a review of the cleanup at least every 5 years to ensure its effectiveness. Under the proposed plan, the estimated cost of cleanup is approximately $3.4 million.

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The EPA will hold a public meeting on February 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. to explain the proposed plan. The meeting will be held at the Martin J. Ryerson Middle School, 130 Valley Road, Ringwood, New Jersey.

Written comments on the proposed plan, postmarked no later than close of business March 2, 2020, may be mailed or emailed to: Joseph A. Gowers, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007, Email: [email protected]

The 500-acre Ringwood Mines/Landfill Site is in a historic iron mining district in the Borough of Ringwood, New Jersey. The site, which is in a forested area with about 50 private homes, includes abandoned mine shafts and pits, an inactive landfill, and other disposal areas. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, areas of the site were used to dispose of waste materials, including paint sludge and waste in drums, from Ford’s automobile assembly plant in Mahwah, New Jersey. Sampling of the paint sludge showed that it contained lead, arsenic, chromium and other contaminants. The site was originally added to the Superfund list of hazardous waste sites in 1983. It was removed from the Superfund list in 1994 based on a finding that all appropriate cleanup actions had been taken. In 1995, 1998 and 2004, additional areas of paint sludge were discovered at the site, prompting further cleanup actions. The EPA restored the site to the Superfund list in 2006 due to this discovery of additional contaminated materials.

Between 1984 and 1988, Ford, with EPA oversight, conducted an investigation of the nature and extent of contamination at the site. Ford excavated and disposed of the paint sludge found and monitored groundwater and surface water on a long-term basis. In 1987-1988, 7,000 cubic yards of paint sludge and soil were removed from the site. Approximately 600 cubic yards of paint sludge and 54 intact and crushed drums were removed in 1990. Since December 2004, approximately 53,528 tons of additional paint sludge, drum remnants, and associated soil from the Peter’s Mine Pit Area, the O’Connor Disposal Area, and 16 other disposal areas within the site were removed and disposed of properly at permitted facilities.

EPA’s cleanup of the land-based contamination in three areas of the site is in the pre-construction phase. It contains the following elements to address contamination in three areas of the site:

  • Peters Mine Pit – Contaminated soil and other material will be removed from around the opening of the mine pit, and the pit will be capped.
  • Cannon Mine Pit – The mine pit will be capped.
  • O’Connor Disposal Area – The area will be capped, and the Borough of Ringwood plans to build a recycling center on this area of the site.

To view the EPA’s proposed plan for the groundwater and mine water at the site, please visit

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