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The Delilah Road Landfill is the site of a former sand and gravel borrow pit which was excavated to the general depth of the existing water table, and then converted to landfill operations in 1972. The landfill was issued a permit application by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (NJDEPE) for the disposal of non-hazardous municipal wastes, but liquids chemical wastes and sludges containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals were deposited in the landfill. The landfill was cited for numerous operational violations by the NJDEPE during it's operational life. Landfilling operations ceased at the site in 1980.

Phase I and Phase II Remedial Investigations have been completed at the site (1986 and 1988 respectively). Contaminated media at the site include on/off-site groundwater and on-site soils. Community concerns have focused on the sites impact to off-site groundwater quality in the area; potable wells in the area of the site have generally experienced low level contamination by volatile organic chemicals and heavy metals, and four wells exhibited contamination in excess of ATSDR comparison values. Municipal water supplies were made available to residents in 1989, and contaminated potable wells were sealed.

The landfill has not been closed according to accepted standards and site access remains unrestricted. A Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was signed by NJDEPE in September 1990 which addressed landfill closure and restriction of site access. The ATSDR and the NJDOH consider the Delilah Road Landfill to be a past public health hazard based upon oral exposure of Chronic duration to contaminated groundwater between 1972 and 1989, and no apparent public health hazard based upon current conditions at the site. The Delilah Road Landfill site is being considered by the ATSDR for inclusion in the benzene subregistry of the ATSDR National Exposure Registry, if the registry is expanded.


A. Site Description And History

The Delilah Road Landfill is located in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey at the intersections of Delilah and Doughty Roads (Egg Harbor Tax map reference: lots 10 & 11 of block 402 A). The site occupies an area of approximately 40 acres, and is immediately proximal to the intersection of the Garden State Parkway and the Atlantic City Expressway. Figure 1 indicates the location of the Delilah Road Landfill.

The site of the Delilah Road Landfill was originally used as a borrow pit before being converted to a landfill in 1972. Sand and gravel were mined at the site to the general depth of the existing water table. The owners of the site filed an application for operation of a solid waste facility with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (NJDEPE) in October 1984, but the final license was never issued. Available information indicates the landfill received solid and liquid wastes including municipal solid waste, construction waste, and bulk liquids. Site records also indicate that Lenox China Inc., a potentially responsible party, deposited more than 86,000 pounds of lead and trichloroethylene sludge at the landfill between 1973 and 1977. Throughout it's operational period, the Delilah Road landfill was cited by the NJDEPE for numerous nuisance violations (odors, windblown materials), operational inadequacies, and improper closure . The landfill ceased operations in September of 1980 when fill materials reached the grade of undisturbed areas. Sporadic incidents of unauthorized dumping have occurred at the site since the time of its closure.

Environmental investigation of the site began in October 1982 when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Field Investigation Team installed and sampled five monitoring wells, and sampled several (nine) domestic wells of adjacent residences. The Phase I Remedial Investigation (RI) was conducted by Camp, Dresser, & McKee for the NJDEPE in 1986. Although Phase I sampling identified groundwater contamination in monitoring and potable wells in the study area (primarily to the south and southeast of the site), no clear connection could be established between the landfill and observed contaminants. In 1987 Betz, Converse, and Murdoch (BCM) conducted a groundwater investigation to determine the direction of groundwater flow. In June 1988, CDM conducted the Phase II investigations which included resampling of monitoring and potable wells as well as test pit excavations, surface water and sediment sampling, and various geophysical investigations. The RI report indicates that municipal waste comprises the primary material deposited in the Delilah Road landfill; there is no evidence to suggest the presence of buried drums.

Primary public health concerns associated with the site in the past pertained to contaminated groundwater. Contaminated potable wells of adjacent residents were sealed when a public water supply became available to residents in 1990. The Delilah Road Landfill is located adjacent to a cluster of other landfills: Price's Pit(s) #1, #2, and #3 (see figure 1). Price's Pit #3 is considered to be a primary source of groundwater contamination in the area whose plume may influence the Delilah Road study area.

No remedial activities have taken place at the site. The site is currently unsecured and not posted. A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed in September 1990 documenting the selected remedy for the site including installation of an impermeable cap, surface water controls, gas collection, air and groundwater monitoring programs, and site security measures.

B. Site Visit

NJDOH personnel (James Pasqualo) and representatives of the Atlantic County Health Department (ACHD) visited the Delilah Road site on May 20, 1992. Access to the site was unrestricted with the exception of a soil barrier across the southern section of Atlantic Avenue. There were no signs visible identifying the landfill as a potentially hazardous area.

The site is partially revegetated and evidence of small game hunting and other recreational activities were observed. Fresh tire tracks suggested that the area had been used by off-road motorcycles and all terrain vehicles within the previous 36 hours.

There was no evidence of recent illegal dumping, although the area of the site was littered with old domestic appliances, furniture, and construction debris. No obvious indication of chemical contamination (stained soils, vegetative stress, lack of insects and small animals) were observed. There were no unusual odors or smells detected during the site visit.

C. Demographics, Land Use, And Natural Resource Use

The area surrounding the Delilah Road landfill is a combination of undeveloped lots, residential properties, warehouses, and light commercial operations. There are approximately 20 private residences located along the perimeter of the site. Residences along Delilah Road are situated directly proximal to the site boundary. Most of the homes in the area of the landfill are single occupancy units situated on lots of one acre or less. Assuming 2.5 persons per household, approximately 50 residents live in close proximity to the landfill (within the boundaries of Delilah Rd., Atlantic Ave., and Fire Rd.). Areas to the east of the site, between Delilah Road and Price's Pit #3, (see Figure 1) are zoned for industrial development and have seen a significant influx of light industry in the past eight years. There are no high density housing units, schools, parks and recreational areas, or other sensitive subpopulations within the Delilah Road Landfill study area. There is no major agricultural production within the site study area.

The Delilah Road Landfill is a generally flat expanse of approximately 40 acres, and is at an elevation of 50 feet above sea level. The site itself is sparsely vegetated with shrubs and grass, while the areas around its perimeter are heavily wooded.

The closest surface water feature to the site is Jarret's Run located approximately 1/4 mile to the north. Jarret's run is often dry during periods of low precipitation, and terminates at Absecon Creek approximately 1 3/4 miles to the northeast of the site. Absecon Creek in turn empties into Absecon Bay which is formed by the Atlantic City barrier island. Two Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (ACMUA) reservoirs, which supply 15-20% of Atlantic City's potable water, are located approximately two miles to the northwest of the landfill.

The primary aquifer underlying the Delilah Road Landfill is the Kirkwood-Cohansey, which is extensively used by the ACMUA and the New Jersey American Water Company (NJAWC). The NJAWC is a major water purveyor for Atlantic County and has three production wells (#'s 11, 13, and 3; see Figure 2) located in the area of the site. Well 11 is situated 1/2 mile northwest (upgradient), well 13 is approximately 1 mile southwest (sidegradient), and well 3 is 1 1/4 miles southeast (downgradient) of the site. Water quality records of the NJDEPE indicate that these production wells have not been impacted by the Delilah Road Landfill or any of the other landfills in the area.

D. Health Outcome Data

There are multiple sources of health outcome data in New Jersey. State and local data for health outcome information include the New Jersey State Cancer Registry, Birth Defects Registry, Vital Statistics Records, Renal Dialysis network, and hospital discharge reports. Federal databases such as those maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services (National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and ATSDR) are not site-specific but may be used for comparison and evaluation purposes.


The primary community health concern associated with the Delilah Road Landfill pertains to the groundwater contamination problem and the impact to domestic and commercial potable wells in the area. Secondary concerns are related to the accessibility of the site and its continued use as an informal recreation area.

The Delilah Road Landfill is one of four landfills in the area referred to as "Price's Pits". These landfills have been generally regarded by the community as having a cumulative detrimental impact to the local groundwater quality. The contamination associated with Prices Pit #3 has been the basis for the relocation of an ACMUA well in 1986, and the resultant media attention and community concerns were extended to the Delilah Road Landfill. (Available data suggest that the contribution of the Delilah Road landfill to area groundwater problems was comparably minimal.)

In August 1989, the NJDEPE conducted a public meeting to discuss the results of the Phase II RI and proposed remedial alternatives for the site. In summary, the issues expressed by the community at that meeting were:

    * The presence of mercury in domestic wells;

    * The direction of groundwater flow in the area;

    * The criteria for selecting which residences were connected to the public water supply;

    * The method of closure of the landfill.

Other community concerns specific to the Delilah Road Landfill pertain to foul odors emanating from the site, and the release of landfill materials to adjacent properties and streets.

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