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EnCap Golf Course

EnCap Golf Holdings, LLC, Raleigh, NC
EnCap Golf Holdings, LLC, Tampa, Florida
?[EnCap web-site]

Area Development

EnCap Golf Holding officials stated that they will start laying the groundwork to entomb more than 700 acres of garbage and begin phase one of building two golf courses, 2,000 housing units, a mini-village of shops and restaurants, a 750 room hotel and 750,000 square feet of office space. EnCap still does not have signed agreements with developers to build the housing, the village, hotel and office space.

Officials said it will take 4 1/2 years to cap the four landfills in Lyndhurst, Rutherford and North Arlington -- dumps that were never properly closed and continue to pollute the waterways surrounding them.  It will take another three to six years to complete the golf courses and buildings.

EnCap and housing developer Pulte need approval of the state Department of Environmental protection to build on part of the capped, low-lying garbage dump. Some DEP officials and environmentalist have concerns about building homes on the landfill  -- a situation where there will be problems  10 years from now.

EnCap does not have approval for the $1 billion second phase of the project which would create two more golf courses and 1,500 housing units on landfills in North Arlington and Kearny.

Source: The Record, May19, 2004

Half a dozen anticipated ground breakings from 2001 to last fall has come and gone. EnCap faces a May 12th deadline set by New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.  But because EnCap does not have development partners to build the homes, office buildings, hotel and mini-village that will financially drive the project -- some local officials are raising concerns about EnCap's ability to take ownership of about 650 acres in Lyndhurst, Rutherford and North Arlington and begin entombing the garbage.

Michigan-based Pulte Homes has concerns about the environmental risks of building so many units on top of garbage and wants the land cleaned up first -- while EnCap has planned to cap the landfill.  As for the rest of the planned development, EnCap continues to negotiate with possible developers. A major developer Charles Kushner backed out amid controversy surrounding his close ties to Governor McGreevey and his position on the Port Authority.

EnCap has obtained state and federal environmental permits needed to begin capping the landfills.  The plan  also enabled state and county officials to fund retiring more than $96 million in debt owed on the former county transfer station in North Arlington -- a site ultimately transferred to EnCap during the second phase.  The company has approval for $145 million in tax-exempt financing from the state Economic Development Authority and has preliminary approval for $63 million more to cover capping costs, insurance premiums and land acquisition costs.

EnCap must reimburse the Meadowlands commission about $6 million in land acquisition costs and it will own another $2 million in May.  The company must provide a $99 million security bond to cover the costs to close the landfills.  The firm must provide pollution insurance, construction insurance and other policies.

Source:  The Record, February 29, 2004


Despite missing a February 1, 2004 deadline, EnCap signed agreements with investment partners.  EnCap stated that it is close to a deal with Michigan based Pulte Homes to build the proposed 2,000 housing units and close to an agreement with at least one other developer to build the offices, and a mini-village of restaurants and shops in Lyndhurst and Rutherford that would serve as the anchor for two golf courses in the projects first   phase.  The second phase includes two more golf courses and more housing. EnCap expects groundbreaking early April 2004.

EnCap's agreement with the Meadowlands Commission requires capping the landfills in the first phase by the end of 2008, before construction can begin.  The state Economic Development Authority sold $145 million in tax-exempt bonds three years ago to finance the acquisition of the land and to cap the landfills.  state Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge), proposed legislation to allow EnCap to obtain other government financing to build and widen roadways and complete other infrastructure projects related to the resort.

The proposal started four years ago with EnCap negotiating an agreement with the Meadowlands commission and permits with the state DEP.  Meadowlands official expected work to start capping the landfills last fall, but was delayed while EnCap sought partners to help build and fund this project.

Source:  The Record, February 4, 2004

Public Information Sessions were held January 28, 2004 at Lyndhurst Town Hall, and February 4 at Rutherford Town Hall.  Residents expressed concerned over increase in housing units proposed (1,980), and decrease in office space( from 1.3 million sq. ft. to 750,00).

In July 2003: According to EnCap's plan of 1,550 housing units, North Arlington will realize annual property tax payments growing to $25 million by 2034.  In it's preliminary proposal, housing prices could start at $350,000 for age-restricted units and $425,00 for open market units.  1,200 age restricted (over 55) units breaks into 865 apartments, 202 attached and 133 detached homes near the Kearny border.  The active-adult village would include a clubhouse. EnCap's plan includes an indoor/outdoor recreation complex next to an existing soccer field.

North Arlington Redevelopment Authority has concerns about the proposed development of about 100 acres in town -- some of the land is zoned for industrial use and contains warehouses and critics worry the the community and schools are not equipped to handle the influx of people.  EnCap documents indicate tax revenue of about $8 million annually starting 2010 and suggest and up front payment to build schools, hire police, etc.    EnCap said it would spend $1 million for off-site traffic improvements involving North Arlington.

Source:  The Record, July 24, 2003

About the cap

Enough material to fill Giant Stadium will be spread over hundreds of acres of rotting landfills of household garbage, discarded refrigerators and industrial waste-- sealing the source of decades of wetlands contamination. This will create a barrier that will allow a four year landfill capping project planned by EnCap Golf Holdings to transform the dumps into a golfing village:  four 18 hole golf courses, and 3,500 housing units, hotels, offices and restaurants.

Environmental watchdogs are raising concerns that the state DEP is allowing EnCap too many shortcuts. They have concerns about the materials used to cap the landfill -- such as dredged soils and dried sewage sludge's -- that may have their own contaminates. They question the bathtub effect sealing the landfills perimeter will be watertight.

Since the 1950's before the state started regulating garbage dumps, millions of tons of waste have been dumped on more than 1,000 acre in the Meadowlands.  The Kingsland dump is 100 feet high.  The full extend of what is buried is unknown.  Now when it rains, water seeps through the trash picking up contaminates becoming a dark smelly and hazardous liquid know as leachate -- then discharges into the wetlands and potential the ground water.  In recent years, ground-water and stream-water testing has shown signs of carcinogenic PCB's, metals, pesticides and other toxins.

Another concern is that the combustible and toxic by product of rotting garbage is methane gas. Last summer, EnCap completed a 36 hole golf course in Houston and maintains a network of gas-collection pipes buried in the garbage that filters the gas and discharges it into the atmosphere.

This is how the "Cap" is supposed to be created.

rd-golf.gif (128934 bytes)

Photo source -
Golf Course Surface
Growing Medium
6 inches soil mixed with processed sewage sludge to act a fertilizer
Common Fill Layer 18 inches. 
Could be construction site soil or crushed rocks from roadway projects.
Cap Layer 2 feet minimum.
Dredged soils mixed with fly ash and cement for low permeability.  This layer is supposed to keep water from seeping through into the garbage dump, picking up toxins along the way and polluting groundwater and streams.
Shaping Layer  1 to 14 feet.
This layer sits atop the garbage and used to shape the golf course.  This will include soils dredged from the harbor, processed sewage sludge and a mix of recycled material (crushed demolition, construction debris, chipped tires, recycled asphalt).

According to the DEP, the entire cap will be made up of 3.2 million cubic yards of dredged soils and nearly 1 million cubic yards of other recycled material.  Included will be about 14,000 truckloads (250,000 tons) of sewage sludge from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.

Once the dumps are capped, a skirt of impermeable plastic or steel barrier wall will contain drains to collect toxic leachate that does seep through the cap, and pump to the sewer authority for treatment.
These walls will be driven 15 feet into a natural layer of clay know as meadow mat. The barrier layer is then tied to the wall.

Environmentist question just how impermeable these barriers will be.  It has been suggested that the DEP had set more liberal permeability standards than on other state landfill closures.  Traditionally NJ landfills have been capped with either an impervious synthetic liner or a layer of clay that is nearly water tight.  Both can cost millions. No caps are perfect -- synthetic liners can rip and clay can crack.

The general guideline allows water to pass through at a rate of no more than an inch per year.  EnCap will line one land fill with an impervious liner, but DEP will allow the others a permeability rate 200 time higher than the accepted standard rate of inch per year.  EnCap states that the dredged soils/cement mixture will for the most part have a permeability rate closer to the standard inch per year, but because some of the soils dredged from the harbor will have a higher concentration of sand, it can't be guaranteed.   Using dredge materials will not only save EnCap from spending money on a synthetic liner or clay cap, but generate revenue at $5.23 per cubic yard -- more than $16 million dollars.

Using sewage sludge contaminates also worries environmentalists.  Concerns are that if the cap isn't tight enough, the sludge containing heavy metals, PCB's, lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, etc..   will leach contaminates into the ground water.   EnCap agreed to dispose of the sludge in exchange for reduced leachate treatment costs with the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.  DEP states it will monitor contaminate levels of the sludge. 

The DEP tests material before being unloaded.  Dredged soils and silts will be tested by the Army Corps of Engineers and checked by the state. Any construction site dirt must receive prior approval.  Any material found to contain hazardous levels of toxins or metals or foul smells will be rejected.

Source: The Record, August 10, 2003

Meadowlands Brownfield Redevelopment Project
In October 1999, Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission selected EnCap Golf as golf course developer of their 1000 acre land-fill site, south of Giant Stadium. The project plans to develop a world class sports and recreation complex including hotel, 54 holes of golf, equestrian center, tennis and marina facilities.   Local comminutes have raised concerns that the project includes housing, etc. as well as lack on concerns of traffic, mass transit, etc.   [EnCap Golf Project]

General Background
[Click] Department of Community Affairs - PR 2/26/2003
[Click] FindLaw Corporate Counsel Center - PR 5/18/2004
[Click] Governor McGreevey - PR 5/18/2004
[Click] Garden State EnviroNews - AP 5/18/2004
[Click] Hackensack Meadowlands Development Corporation - PR 4/21/2002
[Click] New Jersey Meadowlands Commision - Golf Project Background
[Click] SierraActivist - Record 5/4/2004 & NJMC PR 5/3/2004

Hackensack Meadowlands [History] Walden Swamp

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