December 2005

Landfill closure funded with natural resource damage settlements

Jersey City, NJ— Joining Hudson County officials along the Hackensack River, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced a commitment of $5 million in funding for Lincoln Park to restore wetlands and redevelop a landfill for active recreation use. Hudson County also will provide $2 million towards the landfill closure and redevelopment project.

Hudson County’s Lincoln Park site encompasses 270 acres that includes numerous recreation fields and other facilities. A 31-acre wetland portion of the site along the Hackensack River will be restored from a degraded salt marsh that was used as part of a local landfill to a functioning tidal wetland. An adjacent 20-acre portion of landfilled area will be properly closed with a cap and other environmental controls. Landfill operations ceased at the site in 1982.

The funding comes from three settlements between state and Federal trustee agencies and companies that caused past water pollution in the area that resulted in natural resource damages. Trustees in these cases include DEP, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Trustees will use settlement funds to restore wetlands and endangered species habitat, increase public access to natural resources, and protect and manage resources injured by oil spills and hazardous waste sites.

“In an area with so little green space, this project will provide over 20 new acres of healthy parkland and ballfields, providing Hudson County families another option for relaxation and recreation while also cleaning the environment and providing valuable wildlife habitat,” Congressman Robert Menendez.

Trustees and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers evaluated various restoration alternatives for the Lincoln Park site. The wetland restoration plan will include removal of landfill debris, creation of tidal channels, and planting of salt marsh vegetation. In addition, the adjacent landfill area will be capped using the excavated material from the site. This process will lower the site elevation of the 31-acre area so that it can once again be regularly flowed by the tide and support native wetland plant species with high habitat value.

The on-site landfill consolidation and closure component includes placement of a soil cap with storm water management controls. Active recreation plans will be incorporated into the cap design to allow for safe use of the area by residents. DEP will continue to partner with Hudson County and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to oversee the construction work.

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