The Combe Fill South Landfill is located in the NJ Highlands Region, an area known to support an exceptionally diverse array of natural resources including unique biotic communities and critical habitats (U.S. Department of Agriculture 2002). The Site is situated just north of the headwaters of Trout Brook, a NJ Category 1 (C1) Trout Production stream, and tributary to the Lamington River. Trout Brook flows through the Hacklebarney State Park, providing numerous recreational and fishing opportunities. A small forested wetland is located just east of the Site, which drains to the headwaters of an unnamed tributary (UT). The UT is a small tributary to the Lamington River, and is categorized as a C1 Trout Maintenance stream.
Following the Natural Resources Damage Assessment process, the Trustees determined that the release of hazardous substances has resulted in a 230-acre plume of contaminated groundwater beneath and around the Site. Site leachate additionally impaired or degraded 11.7 acres of forested wetland habitat; injured the surface water, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish of approximately 1.9 river miles of Trout Brook (C1 Trout Production stream); and injured the surface water and biota of approximately 1.5 river miles of UT (C1 Trout Maintenance stream).
A settlement, including compensation for Natural Resource Damages, was formalized in a Consent Decree signed by the United States Government, the State of NJ, and the Potentially Responsible Parties in 2009. The Trustees received compensation for non-groundwater natural resource injuries. The restoration account has been held by the State of NJ, for the purposes of restoration, including restoration planning, future restoration monitoring, and other allowable expenditures associated with the Site. Restoration actions have included the removal of the Hughesville Dam, located on the Musconetcong River, NJ, and the removal of the Columbia and Remnant Dams, located on the Paulins Kill River, NJ. Sources: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/njfieldoffice/nrdar/NRDAR_Sites2016/CombeFill_Website2016/CombeFill_Website2016.html