Settlement gives $1M to clean up Voorhees landfill

Source:, September 17, 2013
By: Jim Walsh

A legal agreement is providing $1 million toward cleanup costs for a polluted landfill in Voorhees.

Under terms of a consent order, General Electric Co. will pay $255,000 to a state agency for costs incurred at the former Buzby Brothers Landfill. In addition, $245,000 will come from five local towns — Berlin Borough, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Haddon Township and Voorhees — and two firms that dumped waste at the Centennial Boulevard site.

The consent order settles a lawsuit filed in 2007 by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The agency sought reimbursement for work intended to remove volatile organic chemicals, metals and other pollutants from the 57-acre site.

The landfill operated from 1966 to 1978 on land leased from GE. The site now is owned by Voorhees Township.

The DEP since 2005 has restricted the use of groundwater within a 144-acre site that includes the landfill.

General Electric in 2003 agreed to remediate the site, in part by capping the landfill. After the DEP took it to court over cleanup costs and environmental damages, GE in turn sued the five municipalities and two firms, Weyerhaeuser Co. and Quaker Chemical Corp.

Each of those “third-party” defendants agreed to pay $35,000 under the consent order, which was posted at a DEP website in mid-August.

In January 2011, three other firms that dumped at the site agreed to pay more than $400,000 to settle claims against them. Those funds came from Rohm and Haas Co., Sherwin-Williams Co. and the former M.A. Bruder (MAB) and Sons Inc.

The 2011 payments went toward the purchase of open space outside Voorhees, including two sites in Salem County, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The companies have admitted to no liability for pollution under terms of the consent orders.

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