MONROE – Monroe Mayor Stephen Dalina, along with legislators from New Jersey’s 14th District, have agreed that a dedicated force main pipe is the safe long-term solution
to remove leachate collected from the BFI/Republic landfill site.
This fully enclosed pipe would be isolated for leachate removal only, and would have no connection or opening to any home or street in Monroe, according to the information provided by the Township of Monroe.
Dalina calls on New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Shawn LaTourette to require BFI/Republic, the landfill operator, to install the pipe at its cost, and provide a detailed project timeline to the public as soon as possible, according to the statement.
“I will pursue every avenue available to require BFI/Republic to construct this pipe, because it is the safest process for our residents,” Dalina said in the statement.
Historically, landfill operators at BFI/Republic discharged leachate into the sanitary sewer line that runs through the Inwood Estates housing development off Spotswood Englishtown Road. That sanitary sewer pipe is not a closed system. As with most other residential neighborhoods, individual homes are connected to the shared sewer pipe through laterals from their homes, according to the statement.
As a result of chemical odors emanating into peoples’ home from the sanitary sewer collection system in August and September 2020, DEP ordered BFI/Republic to cease leachate discharge into the sanitary sewer system pending an investigation, according to the statement.
After a detailed review, Dalina and state legislators agree that BFI/Republic should construct this dedicated force main pipe to transport leachate safely, without exposure to residents, from the landfill directly to one of the township’s pumping stations. This would be a different system than the previously operated process through Inwood Estates. There would be no sewer lateral connections from this new force main pipe to any residence in Monroe, according to the statement.
This is the safe and recommended process to transport leachate per the township’s environmental consultant, and landfill expert, Behram Turan, according to the statement.
Reintroducing leachate back into the sanitary sewer through Inwood Estates is an “interim solution” and still potentially exposes homes to leachate, and is unacceptable to the township and its residents, according to the statement
Dalina is calling for a safe, long-term solution to this problem.
“The health and safety of our residents is of utmost importance to me, our state legislators, and my council colleagues,” Dalina said in the statement. “I hope that Commissioner LaTourette shares our priorities, and that he will support and advance a new, fully enclosed pipe (force main) to remove leachate daily from the landfill.”
Representatives of the DEP and BFI/Republic could not be reached by press time.