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DEP Takes Over NJ Landfill To Contain Stinky Toxic Gas

Agency Plans To Cover 18-Acre Area With Concrete Substance
Residents have been complaining about toxic gases coming from the Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury Township, N.J. for months. (Credit: CBS 2)

Residents have been complaining about toxic gases coming from the Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury Township, N.J. for months. (Credit: CBS 2)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Department of Environmental Protection has taken over a northern New Jersey landfill that apparently failed to control a stinky gas odor that left a neighborhood reeking of rotten eggs.

The agency seized control of the Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury on Wednesday, less than an hour after Gov. Chris Christie signed a measure authorizing the move, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said.

The company that acquired the site to shut it down and turn it into a solar farm didn’t follow protocol, leading to elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide — a colorless and flammable gas — that residents said made them sick, Martin said.

“It’s a rotten egg odor that penetrates,” resident Linda Keane told CBS 2’s John Slattery earlier this month. “I get headaches.”

“You can’t breathe, can’t sleep, get woken up from sleep,” resident Janet Lemma said.

The rotten egg smell has been plaguing the area since November.

“Roxbury residents have endured these odors for too long and deserve a resolution to this intolerable situation, which has severely compromised their quality of life and interfered with their normal day-to-day activities,” Martin said in a statement. “The DEP has pursued every legal and administrative remedy available to us to eliminate the environmental and odor problems caused by the neglect of the property owner.”

The DEP plans to cover an 18-acre area of the site with a concrete substance to control the odors. The project is expected to take about three weeks.

An attorney for the site owner is appealing the take over and denies the allegations.

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