First Quarter 2010
Ringwood Mines/ Landfill Site
Ford Motor Company has been working closely with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to follow up on cleanup activities undertaken in the 1980s and 1990s at the Ringwood Mines Landfill Site in Ringwood, New Jersey, where waste materials from Ford's former assembly plant in ahwah, New Jersey, were disposed from late 1967 through mid-1971. Other parties, including the Borough of Ringwood, used the site for the disposal of waste materials before, during, and after the period when Ford-related wastes were brought to the Site.
Ford is providing this Progress Update to share information about developments in the investigation and cleanup of the Site during the first quarter of 2010.
Over the past five years, Ford has conducted a multi-phase supplemental investigation and removal action at the Ringwood Mines Landfill Site under the direction of the EPA, NJDEP, and the Army Corps of Engineers. As part of the supplemental investigation, Ford conducted a comprehensive Field Reconnaissance Survey, a site-wide Test Pit investigation as well as specific studies at the Peters Mine Pit Area, the O'Connor Disposal Area and the Cannon Mine Pit Area.
This Progress Update reviews the status of these activities.
Status of Removal of Paint Sludge in the SR Areas
Ford's contractor, ARCADIS, has completed the removal of paint sludge in 11 of the 12 sludge removal (SR) areas, and performed post-excavation sampling to confirm that the paint sludge has not impacted nearby soils. Paint sludge within SR-5 will be addressed as part of the Peters Mine Pit Area. Additional investigatory work has been undertaken to determine the source of arsenic identified in SR-3, SR-4 and SR-7. The results of this work are outlined below in the Mine Tailings Investigation section.
Ford offered to perform additional work consisting of the voluntary removal of mine tailings and other fill in SR-3, SR-4 and SR-7 where the results of previous post-excavation sampling indicated that arsenic was present at concentrations greater than NJDEP guidelines. ARCADIS implemented this work on January 4, 2010, and is anticipated to complete it by the end of March 2010.
Mitigation activities will commence within SR-3, SR-4 and SR-7 after supplemental removal activities are completed, the areas have been backfilled, and wetland mitigation plans have been approved by EPA and NJDEP. Mitigation efforts have substantially restored or improved conditions at SR-1, SR-6, SR-9, SR-10 and SR-11.
Site-Wide Groundwater Sampling
During October 2009, Ford conducted groundwater monitoring at previously installed monitoring wells across the Site. The samples collected were tested for volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, metals, PCBs, and cyanide. The results were submitted to EPA and NJDEP during February 2010 and were generally similar to historic monitoring events. (For more information on the results of groundwater monitoring at the Site, view the Site-Wide Groundwater Monitoring Sampling Results posted elsewhere on Ford’s website www.ringwoodsiteupdate.com).
Ford is working with EPA and NJDEP to finalize construction details for several bedrock wells to be installed near the Peters Mine Pit and Cannon Mine Pit. Other existing monitoring wells will be converted from open-hole bedrock wells to multi-level monitoring wells to eliminate the need to separate the sampling intervals with inflatable packers. It is anticipated that the wells will be installed and completed during the first quarter of 2010.
Ford has been proceeding under EPA's direction in conducting specific studies within the Peters Mine Pit Area, Cannon Mine Pit Area and the O'Connor Disposal Area. Investigative activities at these locations have included additional surface water and soil sampling, the installation of soil borings and excavation of test pits and test trenches to characterize the nature of fill materials, and the installation and sampling of additional groundwater monitoring wells to obtain additional groundwater data within and adjacent to the landfills.
Field work associated with the initial investigations for all three landfill areas has been completed and the data from these investigations have been submitted to EPA and NJDEP. Ford offered to conduct supplemental test trenching/characterization activities within the former O'Connor Disposal Area and that work was begun on January 4, 2010. Supplemental test trenching activities are expected to be complete during February 2010. Additional supplemental investigations will be completed once authorized by EPA and NJDEP.
Mine Tailings Investigations
On December 9, 2008, Ford's contractor, ARCADIS, submitted additional supporting information regarding the Background Soil/Mine Tailings Investigation Report to EPA and NJDEP. The report sought to determine (1) the relationship between ore and mine tailings from historic mining operations to arsenic that has been detected in some soils on the Site and (2) to identify 'background' or naturally occurring levels of arsenic in soils at the Site. The report concluded that arsenic from the mine tailings was not readily bioavailable, would only leach out of the mine tailings at very low pH levels (very acidic conditions not present in nature) and that the arsenic detected near paint sludge was from the mine tailings, and not the paint sludge.
The EPA and NJDEP have disagreed with some of these conclusions, and taken the position that arsenic within former paint sludge removal areas is Ford's responsibility. Ford will not be responsible for addressing arsenic issues outside the paint sludge removal areas. Ford subsequently agreed to remove mine tailings within former SR-3, SR-4 and SR-7 areas. This work is scheduled for completion by the end of March 2010.
Ford is committed to addressing remaining environmental issues at the Ringwood Site associated with the disposal of Ford-related wastes. Ford is also committed to keeping the community informed and addressing questions or concerns about Site activities. If you would like a copy of previous issues of the Progress Update, or have any questions regarding activities at the Site, please contact Jon Holt, Ford Community Relations Consultant, at (908) 832-0557.