From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published March 15, 2012 09:56 AM

Area of Orange and West Orange NJ New Superfund Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed adding the Orange Valley Regional Ground Water site in Orange and West Orange, New Jersey to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. This includes two public-supply wells at Orange Park and Gist Place which provides drinking water to 10,000 people. The area is in the heart of an old urban area. Ground water under the site, which includes heavily populated urban and suburban areas of Orange and West Orange, is contaminated with the chemicals tetrachloroethylene or PCE, trichloroethylene or TCE and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene. The ground water contamination has impacted public wells used to supply drinking water to local residents. Some of the wells have been taken out of service and water from others is treated to remove the contamination and provide the community with water that is safe to drink.


The City of Orange is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 30,134.  West Orange is a township in central Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 46,207.  Both are located immediately west of Newark, NJ.

EPA found evidence of a ground water contaminant plume but the contamination cannot be clearly attributed to any specific source. The plume is located within the municipalities of West Orange and Orange, Essex County. 

During the course of investigating an industrial facility in West Orange, New Jersey in June-July 2009, EPA collected ground water samples from three public supply wells. 

EPA also discovered PCE and TCE in soil samples from two adjacent facilities located approximately 1 mile west of the contaminated wells and inn the shallow ground water. A review of environmental databases indicated that three facilities associated with waste codes associated with spent halogenated solvents that might contain PCE or TCE are located within ¼ mile of the study area.  Similar database searches centered on the Gist Place and Orange Park wells indicated that there are 22 facilities (including the two identified by EPA’s investigation) associated with similar wastes located within approximately 1 mile of one or both wells.

In addition, database searches listed 44 registered drycleaners and 339 historical cleaners located within 2 miles of the Gist Place well, and 9 registered drycleaners and 89 historical cleaners located within 0.75 mile of the Orange Park well.  

After discovering the contamination in the early 1980s, the Orange Water Department installed a treatment system on the wells to remove the contaminants and provide the community with safe drinking water. Water from these wells is regularly monitored to ensure that the treatment system is effective and that people’s health continues to be protected. The former Brook Lane public supply well, which is located between the Orange Park and Gist Place wells, was taken out of service to protect the public from the contamination.

Nationwide, EPA is proposing to add 10 other sites to the Superfund list as of March 2012 and is designating nine others as final on the list.

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