Excel Environmental to assess wetland areas within Pennington Sanitary Landfill

Pennington Borough Hall at 30 N Main St. in Pennington.

The Pennington Borough Council is ready to move into the next phase of the Pennington Sanitary Landfill study.

Council members approved a professional services contract with Excel Environmental Resources, North Brunswick, for $8,995 to prepare applications for a “freshwater letter of interpretation” and a “flood hazard verification” at a meeting on Aug. 1.

“This is coming out of the borough, but I think this is necessary. We can’t stop now, we [have] gone this far with this study and I think we have to keep going,” Council President Kit Chandler said.

The borough plans to officially close the landfill, which is located between West Delaware Avenue and Broemel Place, and examine potential redevelopment ideas for the site.

Excel Environmental will be assessing any redevelopment limitations within the Lewis Brook Tributary and other wetland areas, according to the resolution.

“This is the next step in the landfill, where we need a letter of interpretation about the stream and we need an analysis of the flood plains,” Chandler said, noting the “natural constraints” of the stream and flood plains will “dictate the area that is developable in terms of what the state thinks.”

Excel Environmental will submit the letter of interpretation verification application and flood hazard area verification approximation application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

The engineering and consulting firm has already completed a preliminary environmental investigation and report of the borough landfill.

At a meeting on July 5, Chandler said overall findings in Excel’s environmental report found the landfill “consistent with a municipal landfill” and “there were no huge areas of concern.”

“The exceedances were sort of what is anticipated [for a] municipal landfill. There were no surprises. Nothing needs to be taken out of the landfill,” she said. “No additional monitoring is necessary. It is just a standard municipal landfill.”

She said the borough will need to close the landfill, which would require two feet of cap fill, and decide what to do next.

Early discussions included leaving the area as open space – a construction of a park or implementation of solar panels – or the possibility of residential and retail development.

Officials are planning on holding a public meeting about the landfill. A date has not been set as of yet.

Prior to the completion of Excel Environmental’s report, a delay had occurred that carried the investigation into 2021.

In the summer 2020, the NJDEP added an additional requirement to all remedial landfill site investigations, which required additional testing for a broad class of chemicals known as per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

PFAS have been used in stain repellants, electronics, and coatings for textiles, officials said.

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