Firm proposes cleanup of farm contaminants

Marlboro officials
continue to pursue
tract for public use

Staff Writer

Firm proposes cleanup
of farm contaminants
Marlboro officials
continue to pursue
tract for public use
Staff Writer

The engineering firm of Schoor DePalma, Manal-apan, will remediate some contaminated soil and water on a tract of land Marlboro officials are trying to acquire and preserve as open space.

On March 11, the Marlboro Township Council unanimously voted to award a $30,250 contract to Schoor DePalma. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will "address" or monitor the levels of arsenic, lead, pesticides and petroleum-related contamination on the 77-acre Dimeo property at the intersection of Pleasant Valley and Conover roads.

According to the council resolution authorizing the contract with Schoor DePalma, the remediation work must be authorized before the township can acquire the land.

Marlboro officials have been attempting to acquire the Dimeo property for two years under the framework of Marl-boro’s open space preservation program.

Council President James Mione said the town is "very close" to acquiring the property and added that the acquisition should be finalized "very soon."

The News Transcript obtained a proposal by Schoor DePalma explaining the remediation activities it will perform on the Dimeo property. The proposal also contains recommendations by the company advising Marlboro officials what the town should do with the land after it is acquired.

According to Schoor DePalma, "The proposed redevelopment of the (Dimeo) land (north of Pleasant Valley Road) includes passive recreational uses, including walking/jogging trails, a playground area and a picnic grove area. Schoor DePalma recommends that this section of the tract also feature "open space areas, the existing orchard and a woodland preservation area."

The company has advised the town to place a visitors center, athletic fields, paved basketball/tennis courts, access roads, parking areas and playgrounds on the south side of the property, according to the document. Open space and orna­mental gardens or demonstration fields should also be included on the south side of the property, according to Schoor DePalma.

A large amount of the north side of the Dimeo property contains contaminants, according to Schoor DePalma’s proposal.

"Arsenic and priority pollutant pesti­cide contamination are widespread across the north parcel," the document states. Schoor DePalma proposes to deal with this issue by "implementing a deed notice with engineering controls and limited ex­cavation of soils with on-site consolida­tion." Taking these actions would "address arsenic, lead and pesticide con­tamination identified at the ground sur­face," the company’s proposal states.

The proposal also notes that "arsenic concentrations exceeding the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) most stringent soil cri­teria are present across the southwest portion of the (property); sediments and surface water associated with the on-site irrigation pond are contaminated by met­als and pesticides and localized arsenic contamination is present at (two) sam­pling locations." Schoor DePalma recom­mends a "combination of (the) implemen­tation of a deed notice with engineering controls and surgical excavation with on-site consolidation" to remedy this situa­tion.

The proposal also states that "petroleum-related contaminants were reported at concentrations exceeding the DEP’s most stringent soil cleanup criteria for supplemental subsurface soil samples" near the site of a 550-gallon underground gasoline storage tank, which was re­moved.

Furthermore, "petroleum-related con­taminants were reported at concentra­tions exceeding the DEP ground water quality standards for the ground water sample" at the site. As a result, Schoor DePalma wrote that it would use a state-licensed well-driller to install and develop three wells for monitoring ground water on the Dimeo property.

The proposal considers the possibility that Marlboro will have to pay for deeper wells at the Dimeo site.

"Should deeper monitoring wells be required, additional costs will be incurred and the township will be notified imme­diately for approval before proceeding," according to the proposal.

Schoor DePalma indicated that it would seek DEP approval for its cleanup efforts. The company’s proposal recom­mends that Marlboro enter the DEP’s Voluntary Cleanup Program in order to allow the DEP to review Schoor DePalma’s remediation activities on the Dimeo Property. Under the terms of this program, the township would "voluntarily conduct stated remediation activities ac­cording to DEP regulations and DEP will review the results for a fee," the proposal states.

"From what I’m told, the conditions that exist on the property are very nor­mal in farming," Mione said.

He said municipal officials will ensure that any problematic pollutants on the property are remediated.

DEP spokesman Fred Mumford con­firmed that the types of contaminants found at the Dimeo property would not necessarily prevent the land from being used for recreational purposes.

"Sites where contaminants are found can be safely used for a wide variety of uses, including recreation, as long as the proper requirements for testing and re­mediation are followed," he said.

Skip Cimino, a spokesman for Schoor DePalma, said the company could not comment on the proposal because it per­tains to a pending legal issue — the ac­quisition of the Dimeo property by Marlboro.