EPA Provides Help For Clean Water Project In Chester And Washington Townships; “Trail Tromp” A Worthy Cause
By Ejvind Boccolini
A ribbon cutting event was held Aug. 11 to signify the success of a project to bring clean water to residents in Chester Township and Washington Township.
The Combe Fill Superfund is described as a site where “hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and groundwater. The site contains 65 acres of fill area that sits on a 115-acre plot of land in Morris County.”
On www.EPA.gov, it notes that the site was a municipal landfill from the 1940s until 1981, and in 1978, Combe Fill Corporation (CFC) bought the landfill. Procedures at the landfill violated many of the New Jersey solid waste administrative codes, while under CFC’s management. CFC went bankrupt in 1981, and the landfill was not properly closed.”
As a result, the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) helped out Chester Township and Washington Township in order to bring clean water to affected residents. In-home water treatment systems were used by residents for an extended period of time and now the EPA has provided close to $6 million to bring clean water to residents.
A pipeline has been installed with the EPA funding, and the source of clean water is the Washington Township MUA.
Previous to this, short- and long-term cleanups were planned, several studies were conducted, and in-home water-treatment systems were installed for the residents in the affected area.
The ground water treatment system has been operational since the late 1990s and a deep aquifer study was conducted as well to assess the situation.
In a phone interview earlier this month, Chester Township Mayor William Cogger was pleased to say that “it’s an opportunity for the residents surrounding the Combe Fill Superfund site to get clean drinking water.”
He said that since the Washington Township MUA is providing the clean water, it is a testimony of how towns can work together. It is an “excellent” example of “sharing services” between towns, he said.
He is, of course, is pleased that the EPA provided the funding because the near $6 million is a “cost of which we could not have borne.”
Officials worked hard on this project.
As part of the cleanup, the EPA and the state installed a landfill cover to prevent surface water and rainwater from coming into contact with the buried wastes. The EPA continues to monitor the landfill cap’s effectiveness. A monitoring station is set up in the Parker Road area.
In other local news, the Long Valley Village Association and the Washington Township Health Department will hold the 5th Annual Columbia Trail Tromp, a memorial for Bill Harrington Sr.
It is an event that raises money for pancreatic cancer research, and will be held on Sunday, Aug. 30 at the Schooley’s Mountain entrance to Columbia Trail.
Signs for the event read, “A brave man who taught us we can make a difference.” The event drew many participants in past years and organizers are calling upon the community again to do what they can to support this worthy cause.
Online registration is available at www.thetromp.com.
The event begins at 7 a.m. for riders and 8:30 a.m. for walkers and runners.
The walk/run/bike route will go through Califon, continue to High Bridge and then go back to Long Valley for a total distance of 24 miles. A shuttle bus from Califon and High Bridge will also be available for those who choose to only walk/run part of the total distance.
The rain or shine event will start in the parking lot at 24 Schooley’s Mountain Road (next to the Long Valley Green Market). Parking is available at the Long Valley Middle School on West Mill Road. Shuttles from the middle school to 24 Schooley’s Mountain Road will be provided.
Those participating as a team are asked to wear fun-themed clothes, and prizes will be awarded in various categories.
Pre-registration to participate is required and can also be completed at www.lvva.org, (where you will be forwarded to the www.thetromp.com website). The donation is $20 per person or $50 per family (up to four participants), and seniors are $10 per person. Each participant will receive a t-shirt and a goody bag.