EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. – A team led by Geosyntec Consultants, an international environmental consulting firm, and including Whitman, an environmental, engineering and management firm, was awarded a contract to aid in redevelopment of a former landfill area for the Borough of Somerville, N.J. The Geosyntec/Whitman team is working collaboratively with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to perform environmental assessment and remedial investigation activities associated with redeveloping the former landfill site and surrounding area.

The redevelopment area encompasses 160 acres, extending from the Somerville Railway Station to the Raritan River. The current redevelopment plan envisions green space, as well as commercial and residential land uses. The development seeks to convert the former landfill area into a vibrant community resource incorporating open space and development adjacent to the Transit Center rail access. The landfill redevelopment is currently being performed under a Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) grant. The project brings together the state, NJDEP, Somerville Borough, and private industry to achieve the redevelopment vision.

"Development on top of and adjacent to a closed landfill presents many engineering and environmental challenges that most developers do not encounter on a regular basis," said Barry Skoultchi, president and CEO of Whitman. "There are issues of land settlement, maintenance of the landfill’s integrity, and a host of other considerations that the Geosyntec/Whitman team is uniquely qualified to handle. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience in this regard. We have assembled a versatile, multi-faceted team with the necessary experience to address these concerns and are eager to start work on this project, which has been in discussion since the 1980s."

Key issues at the site include ensuring that site investigation properly characterizes the suitability for development, securing adequate funding for the project, working with the NJDEP on environmental protection and regulatory compliance issues, as well as partnering with the community and other stakeholders to ensure the long-term success of the project.