Ciba Geigy Landfill Permit
Report on Public Comment Period Concerning The Solid Waste Facility Permit Renewal
Transfer of Ownership Application for the Ciba-Geigy Chemicals Corporation Landfill
Located in Dover Township, Ocean County, New Jersey
June 28, 2001
Office of Permitting and
Division of Solid and
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (hereinafter "the Department"), Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste, published a public notice on 19 July 2000 in The Asbury Park Press and Ocean County observer that it had issued a draft solid waste facility permit for Ciba-Geigy Chemicals Corporation Sanitary Landfill, Paci.lity No. 1507000673.
The draft permit would approve a transfer of ownership of the landfill from Ciba-Geigy Corporation to Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation. The draft permit would also grant a permit renewal which establishes conditions for the continued construction and operation of the sanitary landfill, owned and operated by the Ciba-Geigy Corporation
(hereinafter "Ciba", "Ciba-Geigy" or "the company") located at Oak Ridge Parkway, P.O. Box 71, Dover Township, Ocean County, New Jersey.
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7-26-2.4(g)13, the public and any affected agencies were asked to submit comments on the draft solid waste facility permit within 30 days of the publication of the public notice. During that period, the Department received written comments from three (3) individuals; all of them were opposed to the issuance of the permit. The Township of Dover and Ciba
(the applicant) also provided comments in writing on the draft permit.
During the development of this report, similar comments have been grouped together and consolidated as appropriate. The Administrative Record and the written comments submitted during the comment period may be reviewed at the Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste's offices, located at 401 East State Street,
Trenton, New Jersey, during regular business hours.
The Department has concluded that Ciba-Geigy's application and supporting documents to renew the existing solid waste permit and to transfer ownership from Ciba-Geigy Corporation to Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation are consistent with Departmental rules.
I. Permit Application
Ciba-Geigy operates its sanitary landfill under an existing permit for the disposal of groundwater treatment sludge (solid waste type 27) from the facility's on-site groundwater treatment plant located at its Toms River Plant site.
Before the existing permit expired on 1 November 1998, Ciba-Geigy submitted an application dated 29 July 1998 and supporting documents to: 1) renew the existing solid waste permit for continued construction and operation of its
sanitary landfill and 2) transfer the ownership from Ciba-Geigy Corporation to Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation. This application package was distributed to various local and state level agencies and the host municipality for review. No comments were received from public groups or the host municipality.
Upon completion of its evaluation of the application including comments received from the reviewing agencies, the Department deemed the application technically complete. As a result, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:26 2.4(g)11 of the Solid Waste Management Regulations, the Department issued a draft permit (tentative approval) for the permit renewal and transfer of ownership.
II. Public Comment Period
On 19 July 2000, the Department gave public notice in the Asbury Park Press and Ocean County Observer that the draft permit had been issued. The public comment period began on 19 July 2000. The public and any interested agencies were given thirty (30) days to review and submit comments to the Department regarding the draft permit.
The comment period closed on 19 August 2000. Notice was given of the availability of the draft permit and fact sheet and the availability of the administrative record and Department files on the facility.
III. The Public Comment Report
Comments relevant to the draft permit that was the subject of the notice have been responded to in this report along with other comments concerning ongoing remediation activities at the plant site. All written comments received during the thirty (30) day public comment period have been referenced and answered in this Hearing Officer's Report.
The following parties submitted written comments to the Department;
1. Mr. Joe Demaria, Sr., letter dated 21 July 2000
2. Mr. Robert Cunningham, letter dated 28 July 2000
3. Mr. Bruce Anderson, letter dated 3 August 2000
4. Mr. Ken Dupuis, Site Manager of Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation, letter dated 10 August 2000
5. The Township of Dover, letter dated 8 August 2000
The Department's response to written comments raised during the public comment period are outlined below:
1) Environmental Record of Ciba-Geigy
(i) Don't renew the permit for five years since this is the same landfill where Ciba-Geigy dumped toxic chemicals illegally.
(ii) Don't trust Ciba; make them clean up the landfill.
As a result of various investigations performed by the Department in the 1980's of the waste disposal practices conducted by Ciba-Geigy-respecting cell 2, it was determined that the company had violated its Solid Waste Facility Permit, the Solid Waste Management Act, N.J.S.A. 13:lE-1 et seg., and the regulations promulgated thereunder by depositing unauthorized waste (liquid and hazardous) into Cell 2 of the landfill, and by accepting waste from outside sources for treatment at the Wastewater (now known as the groundwater) Treatment Plant.
Subsequently, the Department and the company executed an Administrative Consent Order on 25 April 1985 providing for the removal of all hazardous waste from Cell 2. The Consent Order prohibited the company from accepting outside waste into the Groundwater Treatment Plant without the express written approval of the Department, and depositing any waste into any cell of the landfill except for groundwater treatment plant sludge, provided the sludge is not a hazardous waste as defined by N.J.A.C. 7:26-8.1 et seq. to preclude past violations of depositing drummed hazardous waste.
The Consent Order further required the company to reorganize its environmental structure at the site so as to improve the awareness of and attention to environmental compliance at the site. As a result, Ciba-Geigy created the position of Director, Environmental Affairs, who is responsible for compliance of all waste treatment and disposal activities and programs with applicable environmental rules.
Furthermore, the Consent Order required that an environmental audit of Ciba-Geigy's Toms River facility be conducted by an independent consulting firm acceptable to the Department, for five (5) successive years from the effective date of the order. The audit was to be comprehensive in nature and should review the site's compliance with applicable environmental regulations, permits and approvals. Additionally, the order stated that reports of such audits were not be edited or reviewed by the company prior to being furnished to the Department.
O'Brian and Gere Engineers, Inc. conducted the audits and their findings and conclusions were presented to the Department and Ciba-Geigy. The conclusions of each year's audit was that the company had been in compliance with the existing environmental permits and conditions of the 1985 Consent Order.
On 27 February 1992, Ciba-Geigy entered into another Administrative Consent Order (ACO) with the Department that required the company to further remediate Cells 1 and 2 of its landfill. In accordance with the ACO, the company; 1) removed all-remaining waste from Cell 2 and transferred it into Cell 3, 2) placed a state-of-the-art cap on Cell 1 and, 3) continued to pump and treat the contaminated groundwater from the plant site to prevent the migration of pollution to residential areas. In addition to remediating the plant site, the company agreed to pay more than $62 million in penalties, settlement and cleanup costs.
In summary, Ciba-Geigy was fined for its past environmental conduct and the company is now operating under new management. Moreover, the Department inspects the Ciba- Geigy Landfill on a regular basis and enforces its requirements continuously so that the company can not continue its past environmental practices. The landfill is also being monitored for compliance with the 27 February 1992 Consent order and performance of all remedial activities required thereunder. It should be further noted that the designs of the landfill exceed the requirements of the solid waste regulations, which ensures the utmost protection of the environment and human health.
Accordingly, the landfill is highly regulated, carefully monitored and operating properly. The Department receives and reviews monitoring data twice a year. No leaks have been detected from the landfill. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, in its Feasibility Study of the Ciba site, also determined that the landfill is not a source of ground water contamination.
Finally, given the degree of compliance with solid waste and CERCLA regulations already achieved by Ciba-Geigy in recent years, it is anticipated that the company will continue to operate the landfill without violating any state and federal laws.
2) Clean-up Issues
Clean-up the landfill along with the rest of the contamination at the site.
The Ciba-Geigy Landfill is a state-of-the-art facility. The engineering design for the facility incorporates measures for ground and surface water protection and ground water monitoring. The design of Cells 1 and 2 incorporated the latest developments in environmental protection available at the time they were constructed. Their design included a double liner system, a leachate collection system and a leak detection system. Design and construction of Cell 3 is state-of-the-art, incorporating a double composite liner system, a double leachate collection and removal system. With the state-of-the-art environmental safeguards in place, the likelihood that contamination of any type would occur and go undetected and unmitigated is very low.
Moreover, Cells 1 and 3 are physically and hydraulically separate from each other. The design, construction, operation and closure of each cell must, further, be approved individually in addition to the general permit required to operate the landfill. The Department issued a closure and post-closure care plan approval dated 10 September 1998 to Ciba-Geigy, which outlined the closure and post-closure measures including the type of cap for Cell 1 and Cell 3, which are the only cells that have been filled. The closure and post-closure plan also provides financial guarantees in the form of a letter of credit covering the costs for the closure and post-closure care of the landfill.
In accordance with an Administrative Consent Order signed between Ciba-Geigy and the Department on 27 February 1992, the company agreed to place a state-of-the-art cap on top of the existing cap on Cell 1 in order to ensure that Cell 1 would not pose a threat to the environment or human health. This cap was completed in the spring of 1994. The Consent Order further required Ciba-Geigy to remove the remaining sludge from Cell 2 and deposit it in Cell 3 provided it was classified as non-hazardous.
In April 1989, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a Record of Decision for the site, which mandated the "capture" and treatment of contaminated groundwater with ultimate discharge to the Toms River. Pursuant to an EPA Consent Order of September 1989, the company designed a remedial groundwater pumping system, which was approved by the EPA in November 1991. The groundwater remedial system (pump and treat) has been installed, and is in operation. The EPA has approved the increased recharge of treated groundwater on-site from 500,000 gallons per day to 2.5 to 2.7 million gallons per day for temporary "capture" of the contaminants since March 1996.
Simultaneously, both the EPA and Ciba-Geigy have been conducting a detailed remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) of the sources of contamination on site since July 1989. This groundwater pumping and treatment will continue until such time as the contamination in the groundwater is eliminated or, alternatively the contamination is otherwise addressed by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) cleanup. These activities indicate that the cleanup is well underway and that the company is cooperating in a responsible manner.
The landfill is highly regulated, carefully monitored and operating in a controlled manner in compliance with the Solid Waste Facility permit and the approved Operation and Maintenance Manual. The Department receives and reviews monitoring data twice a year. The monitoring includes inspection of the leak detection system for each cell and groundwater monitoring reports. No leaks have been detected from the landfill. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, in its Feasibility Study of the Ciba site, also determined that the landfill is not a source of ground water contamination.
In view of the above facts, the Department believes that continued operation of the landfill will not pose a potential threat to the public health nor will it impede superfund cleanup activities. The ongoing remedial actions at the site as outlined above will determine if additional remediation of the landfill is needed.
Why was Cell 2 removed and Cell 1 not?
As a result of various investigations performed by the Department in the 1980's of the waste disposal practices conducted by Ciba-Geigy with respect to Cell 2, it was determined that the company had violated its Solid Waste Facility Permit, the Solid Waste Management Act, N.J.S.A. 13:lE-1 et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder by depositing unauthorized waste (liquid and hazardous) into Cell 2 of the landfill, and by accepting waste from outside sources for treatment at the Wastewater (now known as the Groundwater) Treatment Plant.
Subsequently, the Department and the company executed an Administrative Consent Order on 25 April 1985 providing for the removal of all hazardous waste from Cell 2. On 27 February 1992, Ciba-Geigy entered into another Administrative Consent order (ACO) with the Department that required the company to further remediate Cells 1 and 2 of its landfill. Cell 2 was remediated because the Department determined that: 1) Ciba-Geigy deposited unauthorized waste into it and 2) it was leaking and hence, it was a source of groundwater contamination. Therefore, in accordance with the 27 February 1992 ACO, the company removed all remaining waste from Cell 2 and transferred it into Cell 3.
Solid waste from Cell 1 was not removed because the Department had determined in 1992 that: 1) Cell 1 was closed before Cell 2 was opened and 2) there was no evidence that Cell 1 was not performing as designed and there was no evidence of leaking. Therefore, the Department determined that placing a state-of-the-art cap on Cell 1 was the most viable option for the protection environment and the public health.
Current monitoring of the Cell 1 leak detection system along with the groundwater monitoring system continues to show that Cell 1 is performing satisfactorily and there is no evidence of any failures or leaks.
3) Compliance with Solid Waste Regulations
(i) Why has Ciba-Geigy failed to renew this permit on time? Is the timing of permit renewal associated with the cleanup of the Ciba-Geigy?
(ii) Why was the landfill permit allowed to lapse?
In accordance with the Solid Waste Regulations setforth at N.J.A.C. 7:26-2.7(b)l, the permittee shall apply for a permit renewal at least 90 days prior to the expiration date of the existing Solid Waste Facility (SWF) permit if the facility has remaining capacity in accordance with its SWP permit and if the facility is included in the District Solid Waste Management Plan. Ciba-Geigy's existing permit expired on 1 November 1998. Ciba-Geigy submitted its permit renewal application on 29 July 1998 in compliance with the aforementioned regulations. The landfill permit renewal is not associated with the cleanup of the Ciba-Geigy Plant site.
It should be noted that the Department erroneously showed the date of submission of the "Permit Renewal Application" to be 29 July 1999 in the draft permit which was incorrect. The correct date of submission of the subject application was 29 July 1998 as indicated above. Therefore, since a timely application for renewal was submitted, the conditions of the current permit were continued in effect pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-11, until the effective date of any renewed permit.
(i) Why after all these years are Cells 1 & 2 being added to the permit?
(ii) Why does the draft permit address Cell 1 when the previous permit did not?
Cells 1 and 2 are not being added to the permit now. The Department has always regulated Cells 1 and 2 under the landfill's solid waste facility permit. Both are covered under the Department's Closure and Post-Closure Care requirements established at N.J.A.C. 7:26-2A.9. Cells 1 and 2 are further covered under the ACO signed with the Department dated 27 February 1992. The ACO required additional closure requirements for Cell 1 and a final work plan for Cell 2. Further, the Operation and Maintenance. (O&M) Manual requirements pertain to all cells of the landfill.
It should be noted that the Department is renewing the permit only for Cell 3 of the landfill in light of the fact that the permittee has advised the Department that it does not intend to construct Cells 2 and 4. Therefore, Cells 1, 2 and 4 will not be incorporated into the permit.
This Solid Waste Facility Permit should allow Cell 3 to be renewed since it is the only active landfill. Is it Ciba-Geigy's intention to use Cell 4 as part of any cleanup?
The Ciba-Geigy Landfill is permitted to accept solid waste type 27, dry industrial waste. It is true that Cell 3 is the only active cell in the landfill now. It should be noted, however, that, the Department has authorized a landfill area comprising Cells 1 through 7 ever since it issued the initial SWF permit to Ciba-Geigy in 1979. After Cells 1 and 2 were built, Ciba-Geigy decided to make several changes to the design of the remaining cells. These changes included modifications to the bottom liner design, the size of the cells, and operational procedures. Rather than redesigning all of the remaining cells, Ciba-Geigy elected to submit new designs only for Cells 3 and 4.
The SWP permit issued on September 14, 1988 initially approved these designs. Additional cells north of Cell 4 (i.e. Cells 5, 6, and 7) had not been designed at that time. Currently, the company places only non-hazardous sludge from the on-site groundwater treatment system in Cell 3. When this cell reaches its design capacity, it will be closed in accordance with the closure and post-closure care plan approval issued by the Department on 10 September 1998 to Ciba-Geigy.
The construction and operation of Cell 4 was proposed through the draft permit. Ciba-Geigy has, however, informed us that it will not construct Cell 4. Additionally, the Proposed Plan released by the EPA for this site on 15 June 2000 required an ex-situ bioremediation of soils of the contaminated areas and off-site disposal/treatment of drummed material. If this preferred option becomes the final remedy for the site, it will further limit the use of the landfill.
Waste type permitted is 'dry industrial waste" at the landfill for disposal. The commenter wanted to ensure that "only" groundwater treatment sludge generated at the Toms River Ciba site was permitted for disposal.
The draft Solid Waste Facility Permit authorizes Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation to accept solid waste type 27, dry industrial waste comprising groundwater treatment sludge generated from its on-site groundwater treatment plant. In accordance with Condition I of Section III of the permit, the permittee is not authorized to accept any other type or description of solid waste as defined at N.J.A.C. 7-26-2.13(g) and (h), regulated medical waste as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:26-3A.6(a), or hazardous waste as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:26-G(5).
The Ciba Landfill is a state-of-the-art facility. The engineering design for Cell 3 exceeds the requirements of the Solid Waste Regulations. The primary liner system consists of an eighty (80) mil (0.08 inches) thick high density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembrane and a two foot thick compacted clay layer with a maximum permeability (hydraulic conductivity) of 1 X 10-7 cm/sec. The secondary liner system is made of an eighty (80) mil thick HDPE and a three foot thick layer of compacted clay with a maximum permeability of 1 x l0-7 cm/sec. A double leachate collection system and a leak detection system have also been installed. The collection system collects and transports leachate to the treatment system. The detection system is designed to provide early warning of any problems so that corrective measures can be implemented well before any environmental impact can occur.
As can be seen, the landfill is designed with adequate environmental safeguards to accept dry industrial waste. If Ciba decides to accept wastes from other sources within its Plant, it would have to apply for a modification of the permit to do so.
4) General Comments
Ciba commented on Condition 2(a)l of Section III of the draft permit. They commented that the date of submission of the "Permit Renewal Application" should be 29 July 1998, not 1999.
The Department concurs with the above-stated comment. it was a typographical error made by the Department. Therefore, this condition has been modified as requested.
The Department received a letter from the Township of Dover requesting a public hearing regarding the use of the Ciba-Geigy Landfill with respect to the cleanup of the Ciba-Geigy Site, so as to give residents an opportunity to hear an explanation of the proposed use of this landfill and so that they may comment on the proposed plan.
On 19 July 2000, the Department published public notice in The Asbury Park Press and Ocean County Observer that the draft permit had been issued. The public comment period began on 19 July 2000. The public and any interested agencies were given thirty (30) days to review and submit comments to the Department regarding the draft permit. The comment period closed on 19 August 2000. During the public comment period, the Department received written comments only from three individuals. The Department is of the opinion that their comments have adequately been addressed in this Response Document.
The Township of Dover requested a public hearing regarding the use of the Ciba-Geigy Landfill with respect to the cleanup of the Ciba-Geigy site. It should be noted that cleanup of the Ciba-Geigy site is not the subject of this public comment period nor is it being approved as part of this permit. This draft permit only proposes renewal of the existing permit and transfer of ownership from Ciba-Geigy Corporation to Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation. Besides, the Department is not aware of any plan to use this landfill for cleanup other than for the continued disposal of groundwater treatment sludge from the groundwater treatment plant.
Since July 1989, the EPA, which is the lead agency, and Ciba-Geigy have been conducting detailed remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) of the sources of contamination on site, which is independent of the landfill. This RI/FS is done to identify the cause and extent of contamination at the site, the possible threats to the environment and the people nearby, and the options for cleaning up the site. Upon completion of the RI/FS, a Proposed Plan is developed and presented to citizens and to local and state officials for comment. The Proposed Plan describes the various cleanup options under consideration and identifies the option USEPA and NJDEP prefer. After a public meeting and comment period, the public's concerns are addressed and a Record of Decision is published. This document describes how the agency plans to clean-up the site.
The EPA released the Proposed Plan for this site on 15 June 2000. The Proposed Plan required an ex-situ bioremediation of soils of the contaminated areas and off-site disposal/treatment of drummed material. The comment period was effective till 15 August 2000. During this comment period, the EPA held two public meetings, one on 15 June 2000 and the second one on 22 July 2000. Subsequently, the ROD was released on 22 August 2000 and finalized on 29 September 2000.
In consideration of the above and in view of the fact that in its Feasibility Study of the Ciba site, the EPA determined that the landfill is not a source of ground water contamination, the Department believes that a public hearing is not warranted. However, the Department will hold a public meeting in the near future to address the public concerns regarding the landfill.
What is the composition of the groundwater treatment sludge being disposed of in the landfill?
Ciba submitted data about the composition of the groundwater treatment sludge to the Department. The data is available in our files and can be reviewed by any individual who is interested. The composition of the sludge is as follows:
Content / Percentage
This sludge is being analyzed monthly for total metals for regulatory reporting, as well as for Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Procedure (TCLP) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements for waste classification to ensure that it continues to meet ID 27 non-hazardous classification. The sludge has consistently tested to be non-hazardous.
Who does review the monitoring data for the landfills? Whose lab does the analysis and how can they be trusted?
A groundwater monitoring program is required for all sanitary landfills in New Jersey. Ciba monitors groundwater at the landfill in compliance with the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System - Discharge to Groundwater (NJPDES-DGW) Permit (No.NJ0105244) issued by the Department. Ciba submits the groundwater monitoring results to the Bureau of Non-point Pollution Control, Division of water Quality, CN-029, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.
Lancaster Laboratories located at 2425 New Holland Pike, PO Box 12425, Lancaster, PA 17605-2425 performs all required testing for the Ciba-Geigy Landfill. The State of New Jersey has certified this laboratory. The Lab Certification Number is 77011.
IV. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The permittee has advised the Department in e-mail dated April 5, 2001 that it does not intend to construct the approved cells (Cells 2 and 4) for the disposal of sludge in the future. In light of this and based on the review of the permit renewal and transfer of ownership application and the comments received during the public participation process, it is recommended to approve the application to renew the existing solid waste permit for continued construction and operation of Cell 3 only of Ciba-Geigy's sanitary Landfill and to transfer the ownership from Ciba-Geigy Corporation to Ciba specialty Chemicals Corporation. However, the Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste has determined the need for the following permit modification to be incorporated into the final permit as indicated below:
Modify the language in Condition 2(a)l of Section III of the Permit entitled "Approved Designs, Plans and Reports" to read 'Solid Waste Facility Permit Renewal Application for Industrial Waste Landfill" dated 29 July 1998 prepared by John Tucker, Groundwater Remediation Manager of Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation.
2. Delete all references pertaining Cells 1 and 4 from the Permit.