Minutes: May 21, 2018
1. CALL TO ORDER: 7:04 p.m.
2. STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE
Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 213, PL 1975, adequate notice as defined in Section 3D of Chapter 231, PL 1975 of this regular meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 22, 2018 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the township clerk as well as posted on the township website.
3. SALUTE TO THE FLAG
4. ROLL CALL
Michael Furrey (MF) - Chair - P
Carol Kadish (CK) - A
Michael Cheski (MC) - P
Angela Erichsen (AE) - P
Craig Williams (CW) - P
ALSO PRESENT—Laura Lai-Minteer, Recording Secretary
5. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Motion to open the meeting to the public was made by Mr. Williams and was seconded by Chairman Furrey. All were in favor.
3 Silver Spruce Drive Soil Dumping
Kristin Janus—14 Woodland Hills Drive, Sussex. Ms. Janus said illegal dumping in town has raised concerns and that the neighborhood immediately behind hers has been affected. She said runoff affects a home located right above her home. She said the path from the dumping area leads downstream to a neighbor with a non-invasive cancer, to her—she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October—to a neighbor who was diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer, all within the last two years. She said this is only her generation and does not even consider the impact on their kids. At this point they do not have proof of the effects of the dumping, but she encouraged having people test their water immediately. She thinks they have factual information showing a pattern and said the dumping has been going on for far too long. She said the person dumping in Vernon Township was arrested for dumping in another state. Ms. Janus replied to Mr. Williams that she has not had her water tested but that she will be doing so.
Chairman Furrey said the EC is also concerned about what has been happening. He said the EC became aware of the issue earlier in the year and began looking into it a couple of months ago. He said the EC has made follow-up calls to the DEP and that there have been several complaints in the last couple of years. Chairman Furrey said more recently, the complaints were in January 2017, December 2017, and March 2018. He encouraged members of the community who are concerned to call 1-877-WARNDEP to complain, give their address, and get a case number. He thinks continuing to take these steps will convince the NJDEP to take some action.
Joe Lapinski, 23 Silver Fox Lane, Sussex. Mr. Lapinski said, aside from the constant noise and the apparent lack of concern for the time of day when the materials are dumped, the question is whether anyone has asked for certification for the material. He asked if the EC knows from where it originated or if he (Joseph Wallace) produced any proof. Mr. Lapinski said he is in the business and knows that certification is required when dirt is moved out of town. Chairman Furrey responded that if dirt is moved, regardless of origination, part of the process requires some sort of manifest on where it is coming from and the location where it is ending up. Mr. Lapinski said, also, proof needs to be provided that the dirt is not contaminated before it is moved and questioned if that has been done. Mr. Williams replied that it is uncertain if the before part has been done because the township is on the receiving side of it, and it needs to be caught right at the gate.
Chairman Furrey agreed it has been going on a long time. He was on the EC nine years ago when Mr. Wallace tried to put up a cell tower on that site. Chairman Furrey visited the site to investigate and said (the dumping) was occurring back then. He said the process is that the complaint goes to the NJDEP, which he said falls under its solid hazardous waste regulation. He said they have an agreement with the county to do site investigation and they have the enforcement authority to do a site evaluation. The township recently passed a dumping ordinance. It takes some time to finalize and put it into effect. At that point, the township has the authority to enforce the dumping ordinance. Mr. Lapinski questioned why the town could not act as an individual and notify the DEP. Chairman Furrey answered the mayor and town administration did notify DEP and have been looking into the issue for almost a year. Mr. Lapinski said we don’t know what is in the soil or how many yards have been dumped. He suggested using the town’s topographical map to determine how many yards of dirt are located on the property and then backtrack that from the certification of what was moved. He wanted to know how, as a town, this can occur. Chairman Furrey said the EC is trying to work with the NJDEP and the county health department to actively investigate and ultimately do a site evaluation, and maybe take samples. He said that is part of the process and that is what they are responsible to do. Mr. Williams pointed out that the samples have to go very deep because of the large size of the pile. Mr. Lapinsky asked who will pay the costs. Chairman Furrey said the EC is taking the issue very seriously and is actively trying to accomplish getting the aforementioned regulatory agencies to take the appropriate action.
Ms. Rush, Cedar Ridge, Vernon. Ms. Rush said social media is reporting that there is a large dump truck that just flipped and is spilling contents on the road down in the center of town by the Chase Bank. She suggested, if it is was possible and permitted, to take a soil sample from that particular truck while it is there. Mr. Williams said that as part of an accident investigation, the police will find out these types of details.
Ms. Jenny Higgins, 20 Woodland Hills Drive, Sussex. Ms. Higgins said multiple neighbors at Woodland Hills Drive and Red Oak Court have made numerous calls to the DEP in the past year. She said they have case numbers and have also sent emails. She said she also reached out to the EPA but was told it was the DEP’s responsibility. She said her neighbors have followed the trucks to and from the sites, and she said one load of trucks came from a shut-down gas station miles away. Chairman Furrey said the EC is aware. Ms. Higgins said another batch of trucks is from a water treatment facility. She said she also received an anonymous tip from a man who works at a Superfund site that the trucks were coming from there as well. Chairman Furrey said the EC, the mayor, and the township administration are all frustrated because even after multiple attempts to get the DEP and the county health department to act, it is taking too long. Ms. Higgins said her family moved four years ago from Bergen County and feels that if this was happening there that there would already have been action taken. She believes Sussex County does not get the attention it is entitled to under the statutes of the state of New Jersey. She is more than frustrated; she is fearful of her family’s health. She said her block has 38 children under the age of 18. Chairman Furrey said the EC is there to help, whatever she needs.
Jeff Wagner, 1703 Route 565, Sussex. Silver Spruce runs right behind Mr. Wagner’s home. He said he and his neighbors have been noticing the issue for at least four years and questioned why it is just coming down the pike now. He said Mr. Wallace sold a piece of property below his property. Mr. Wagner said years ago he thinks that property owner was planning to build a log cabin but did not go through with it. Then Mr. Wagner said he saw dump trucks going to this property and watched a bulldozer moving dirt back and forth. He said Mr. Wallace told him the owner was putting up a pole barn. Mr. Wagner said hundreds of dump trucks go up to Mr. Wallace’s property and he and his family have a hard time relaxing by the pool on a Saturday when numerous trucks are going in and out. He said he has called the police who show up and take notes. Mr. Wagner feels they are being ignored and wanted to know why Mr. Wallace continues dumping without being arrested. He said his other concern is that if Mr. Wallace is found guilty and required to remove what he dumped, it will require more trucks and time. He questioned what this issue could do to property values if a potential buyer thinks there is well water contamination. Mr. Williams asked about the town zoning officer, and Chairman Furrey said the ordinance needs to go into full effect. Mr. Williams pointed out that locally the laws are changing so the issue can be addressed in the near future. Mr. Cheski said to call and continue to call the governor’s office to get action. Mr. Williams said the DEP is toothless compared to ten years ago. Mr. Wagner said the main thing right now is to get the trucks to stop.
Ed Long, 7 Woodland Hills Drive, Sussex. Mr. Long said from what he understands, a judge issued a stop-work order. The stop-work order came from the Sussex County Soil Conservation District (SCSCD) judge. Mr. Williams asked who is going to enforce the judge’s order. Chairman Furrey asked Mayor Shortway to come forward to address the issue.
Mayor Harry Shortway: The mayor addressed members of the public and said he appreciates their frustration and that he, too, is entirely frustrated. He was glad they were present because he said they were providing ammunition to fire back. He said when he was first made aware of the issue in the fall, they notified the county because of the soil. They also notified the DEP. Vernon Township’s zoning officer visited the site, but there was nothing under the New Jersey criminal statutes or in their local ordinances to enforce to stop it. Mayor Shortway explained that four years ago the SCSCD told Mr. Wallace it needed to stop and issued a stop-work order, but it continued. The mayor thanked Ed Brown for starting a Facebook page (Vernon NJ Residents Affected by the “Landfill”). He said they took pictures of the site from neighboring properties. He emphasized that as a government agency the law must be followed. He phoned the chief of police and requested officers enforce all Title 39 truck statutes. Mayor Shortway said while the state police weight team has the authority to stop a truck and inspect it, the municipal police need reasonable suspicion and probable cause to write a summons. Last week the local police did their job enforcing Title 39 statutes by impounding an unregistered truck with no front plates. Mayor Shortway went to the township attorney for a law to allow sending the zoning officer out. The attorney came up with an ordinance, which did pass. The mayor said currently paperwork is being finalized as to how to move forward with having the zoning officer enforce the ordinance. Mayor Shortway said he will work with the township to do everything they can and are also looking at mortgage companies and who is the insurance carrier because he does not want taxpayers paying for the removal of the contents of the dump. He said this morning he contacted Congressman Gottheimer asking for assistance, who responded with, “I’m on it.” The mayor said he also contacted the chief of staff at the governor’s office for help.
Mayor Shortway said the DEP investigated the complaint when he put two boards over the creek for the volunteers to hang birdhouses donated by the Girl Scouts. He has no quarrel with the DEP doing its job and investigating the complaint. He remarked that the DEP received complaints about the soil and questioned when the soil movement would be stopped. He said they cannot find a legal way to block the road. The mayor said what the town needs is a judge to issue a stop-work order so that it can be enforced locally and the township is not relying on the DEP or the county.
Mayor Shortway said this evening a fully loaded dump truck went down Breakneck Road, burnt out its brakes, lost control, hit the median (on Route 515), went sideways and spilled the load all over. He said they do know the dirt is from Brooklyn but they have not yet determined where it was going to be delivered. They have video of it from Lukoil. He said the county HAZMAT team is on the scene along with the county health department to take samples, and DEP has been notified. The mayor said this accident will be fully investigated.
Mayor Shortway reiterated that the law must be followed. He said he did not know about this problem four years ago but realizes it has been going on for far too long. “Let’s get this done.” The mayor took questions from members of the public.
Mr. Long asked why the stop-work order that the judge issued has not stopped the trucks from coming in. Mayor Shortway responded that, as he understands it, four years ago this was coming from the SCSCD and not the judge’s order. The mayor said if they can enforce a stop-work order coming from a judge, they will enforce it but they cannot block the road. Mr. Williams wondered if notification signs about the stop-work order could be posted at the entranceway. Mr. Long said that years from now, everyone will pay the price when whatever is in the dirt pile seeps into the aquifer. Mr. Long posed his question again: “The judge has a stop order. Private property or not, why can those trucks not be stopped?” Mayor Shortway said he does not know the answer but was discussing it with the chief, who said the judge needs to give us that order. Mr. Long said the judge gave that order and it has not stopped. Mayor Shortway needs to verify that the municipal judge gave a stop-work order and can enforce that order.
Unidentified Member of the Public #1 asked about the police department resources available and said that the accurateness of this case is that there is a history of problems with nothing being done. He said when he (Wallace) was accused of theft by deception in 2014-15 and in 2015 when he was accused of check fraud, he did not serve a day in prison. The mayor answered that he does not know the details of what happened in those cases but does know, as an investigator in a detective bureau for fifteen years, that the incidents could only be used for sentencing and not for investigating what is occurring now. Chairman Furrey added that when they heard back from the DEP, the only thing they are being told is that there is an active investigation.
Mr. Wagner. He said he is relying on Mayor Shortway as a friend, a neighbor, a townsperson, a taxpayer, and pleaded for his help. Mayor Shortway answered that he is doing everything that he possibly can to help the community, that he is also downhill from it, and that he is concerned and thinking of the future of the children about what is in that dirt.
Unidentified Member of the Public #2 said when Mr. Wallace had the cell tower permits in 2009, he and others challenged the illegal dumping. He said there should be records from the land use board meeting. He is frustrated that it has been going on a long time and said he is at the point where he wants to gather people on a Saturday morning to picket. Mayor Shortway replied that he would need to see the stop-work order to know who is designated to enforce it. The mayor also answered Gentleman #2 that as far as he is aware, the Highlands Act does not have any impact but that he is reaching out every way and everywhere he can to try and stop this invasion.
Mr. Long. He said he is trying to maintain a professional composure. He said it’s a big news story when a bear is caught in Bergen County, and nobody complains when the bear gets released in Sussex County. He said this is not a rhetorical question and again demanded an answer: if a municipal judge has issued an order to stop, why, as a town, can we not stop him? Mr. Williams said the judge has to designate someone to enforce that order. Mayor Shortway said he would be speaking with the chief either this evening or tomorrow and will find out the answer. He said Mr. Long has every right to be angry and he shares that sentiment.
Dan Gannon, 24 Silver Fox Lane, Sussex, home: Mr. Gannon said he contacted News 12 and provided the email address for a woman who was in attendance this evening who has a lot of the history. He said there is a small strip of property between his property and Wallace’s property. Mr. Gannon said he talked to the mayor on Friday and went to the police department and filed a complaint. He said he went to a small meeting at one of the homeowners and then went back yesterday to his property of fourteen acres. He said he took a walking (measuring) wheel and went from the street and walked back a thousand feet. He said the mound is located at eight hundred feet and it is starting to push onto his property. Mr. Gannon said to let him know if someone would like to take samples, and Chairman Furrey said he would be in touch. Mr. Gannon said the runoff from the mountain where Mr. Wallace is dumping goes to a stream leading past Mr. Gannon’s property, Mr. Lapinski’s property, and goes right to Woodland Hills. He said he could look up the name of the stream on his survey. An unidentified individual called out and said that pond that Mr. Gannon referenced is where Babtown and Woodland Hills join and that there is a stream beneath the road that goes right to Lake Wallkill. Mr. Williams said any time soil is disturbed, a law abiding citizen needs to put up a silt fence regardless of the size but that he has not seen any silt fencing in the aerial maps. Mr. Williams said soil runoff is actionable and can be pursued. Mayor Shortway said one of the problems is that the SCSCD district manager Cliff Lundin retired and now an interlocal agreement with Warren County allows for only a part-time officer. He said this will be one of the issues he brings up when he speaks this evening with one of the freeholder candidates.
Pam McCann, 5 Red Oak Court, Sussex. Ms. McCann said she and others have found gaps of information. For example, while these trucks are supposed to have a destination when going somewhere, she questioned where these trucks are coming from and where is their actual destination. She said in the trucking business, everything is registered somewhere, but we don’t know the procedure for it. She asked why this property could not be condemned. She asked why, if trucks are going in and not showing their manifest, can we not stop everything and research. She thinks there is an authority that is not being exercised. Mayor Shortway replied that the DEP and the county did not do their jobs. She said this issue has been going on a long time and to tell people to call DEP is not enough of an answer right now. She would like to see the judge’s opinion. Mayor Shortway said pictures of the trucking accident were taken and sent to the media with hopes of drawing even more attention to the issue. Mayor Shortway that they do not have a weight team to send and answered Ms. McCann that state police get involved if the incident occurs on a state highway. Mayor Shortway said he hopes they can start enforcing the new ordinance soon, which he believes has a ninety-day incarceration attached to it, sentenced by a judge. The mayor said the estoppel period is over and paperwork is being finalized. He said now permit applications will be sent because the zoning department needs to know if it is a major or minor fill and the manifestation of where the dirt is coming and going. Mayor Shortway said the engineers reviewed the ordinance, which was diligently constructed to ensure, when passed, could be upheld. He hired a part-time zoning officer and hopes to hire another part-time zoning officer to enforce the ordinance.
The mayor replied to an unidentified individual that the investigation of the dump truck accident that occurred this evening is ongoing but that he will post what can about it on his Facebook page to inform the public. The same individual asked for clarification about water testing mentioned earlier in the meeting. Mayor Shortway said some residents have legitimate concerns about the quality of their well water and who will test it. Chairman Furrey has a water testing business, Agra. In the past, people have brought samples of their own water to Earth Fest so he could test them free of charge. Mayor Shortway said Agra will do free testing but that residents can choose any water testing company. He said the township does not have a board of health, and the county took over about seven or eight years ago to save money. The mayor said to have a town board of health would cost approximately $200,000 per year and that he is sensitive to taxpayers. He mentioned that when he was out looking to do a pathway, there were hundreds of railroad ties discovered in the wetlands. He said he called the DEP and the county, and they did not do anything. He said that when he contacted the Vernon residents that work for the county, the county came out. The railroad company voluntarily decided to clean up. He said that ten 30-yard containers were filled with railroad ties that had been removed from the wetlands.
Mr. Gannon asked if the town could subpoena the trucking companies to determine from where the dirt is coming. Mr. Williams said a log would need to be kept of trucks coming and going. Mayor Shortway said a search warrant is needed with probable cause and show a crime was committed, etc. Chairman Furrey said manifests have to exist, and he said the DEP and county could ask for them to track where the soil originated and where it is going to end up.
Ms. Janus (?) said the phone number listed on the back of the truck involved in the accident is not valid.
Rich Carson, Vernon. Mr. Carson said Route 565 cuts right through the Wallkill watershed refuge (Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge), which is federal property. He said that they would have an interest in this issue to protect their vital natural resources, and perhaps that angle could be pursued. Mr. Carson said someone mentioned that with some of these occurrences of illegal dumping, it can take years before effects are realized. He thought doing the water testing now is good to get a baseline but thinks it might need to be ongoing for a very long time. Mr. Carson said that Mayor Shortway is right and that various county and state agencies and officials seem to think that we can be ignored. He asked how the court order gets enforced. He said in addition to cancer, which was mentioned earlier, contaminated things can bring about other serious, life-threatening health issues. Mr. Carson said he thinks it is important for folks to remain focused on this issue and expeditiously do due diligence with caution and common sense. He reminded folks to not break laws and allow officials to do their jobs and to be patient because it may take some time.
Ellen Meixner. Ms. Meixner said that someone mentioned on the Facebook site that Mr. Wallace is also dumping on Indian Trail in High Ridge. Chairman Furrey said he is aware of it. Ms. Meixner said Mr. Wallace is pushing the soil into the swamp.
Chairman Furrey said to contact him if there is an interest in water testing, and they will follow up to do the testing and provide some answers. He said about ten people called today, to please be patient, and they will respond as soon as possible.
The EC thanked the members of the public for coming out and for their participation.
Motion to close the meeting to the public was made by Mr. Williams and was seconded by Mr. Cheski. All were in favor.
There was a six-minute break in session.
6. LAND USE BOARD (LUB) LIAISON REPORT
a. Mr. Williams said there is nothing new but there are a couple of things pending: 1) signage around the guard stations (the EC already discussed), 2) Wilson Facility Management Services (also discussed by the EC with more questions than answers). It was memorialized October 14, 2015, LUB #6-15-8. He said they committed to doing two buildings, and the septic disposal field and the surface water runoff were supposed to be sized for both buildings. Only one of the two buildings was built, and they used the area where the other building was supposed to be as a parking lot with a fence around it. Because it was not close to what was approved, they are required to go back to the LUB and justify the changes or go through the process again because of the differences in what they did versus what was approved. Mr. Williams answered Chairman Furrey that the distance between the septic field and the well were in question. Mr. Williams said the grates for collecting stormwater were basically sized for both buildings. He said now the question is the non-permeable surface that was proposed then and still exists; is it a paved parking lot or not a paved parking lot? He said the issue changed because what they did has changed, and it is still in front of the LUB.
7. OLD BUSINESS
a. LUB Application Review—All
b. Open Space—The Land Conservancy and Greener By Design (GBD) Proposal
Chairman Furrey said that GBD met with the greenway committee and are aggressively pursuing a lot of projects and are making some headway. He said GBD is a lot more active than The Land Conservancy. Chairman Furrey said we need to get the mapping from The Land Conservancy for GBD.
c. Vernon Gas Station Review and Other Identifiable Potentially Hazardous Sources—CW
This item was tabled.
d. Water Testing—MF
This item was tabled.
e. Vernon Earth Fest Review—Sunday, April 29—All
This item was not discussed.
f. Secaucus Resolution to Ban Polystyrene—MC
Mr. Cheski apologized for not having the survey and said he would bring it to Vernon Day instead, to which Chairman Furrey agreed.
g. 3 Silver Spruce Drive Soil Dumping—MF
This item was discussed during the open public session.
h. GAAC Trail Clearing—May 20, June 10, July 15, August 12—Sundays @ 1:00 p.m.—MF
Chairman Furrey said the trail clearing happened yesterday and they made some headway. They will be clearing monthly, and the next cleanup will be on June 10 and all are welcome. Mr. Williams said the mayor is working on getting the residents of the county jail to help out.
i. Vernon Day—Sunday, June 3, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.—All
Chairman Furrey said the EC and greenway committee filled out an application and will share a table. The event will take place on the field between Cedar Mountain Primary School and Glen Meadow Middle School, and there will also be a food truck festival. Ms. Erichsen created two colorful and informative displays using the materials Chairman Furrey and Mr. Williams provided, which included the Sustainable Jersey logo and the information on the proposed bike trail to show and tell people positive things that are happening. Chairman Furrey will attend later in the day. Mr. Williams and Mr. Cheski will be there by 11.
8. NEW BUSINESS
a. Alice Brees, County Planner—NRI Review—CW
Chairman Furrey thanked Ms. Brees for waiting and explained that the EC asked Ms. Brees to attend the meeting to give some guidance and support regarding the NRI. Ms. Brees said the county does have GIS data and provided a copy of the county’s NRI from at least ten years ago which covers at least basic information. She said she also found the Vernon Highlands Environmental Resources Inventory (ERI) done in 2012. Mr. Williams said, as a preface, the EC took the existing NRI, by sections, and took every reference noted in each section with the anticipation that the EC would be revisiting and updating these sections to be able to use the information. He said the EC has the verbiage from 2004 in Word. Mr. Williams said his opinion is that the mapping done in 2004 is so broad that it makes it almost useless. He thinks the EC needs to perhaps compartmentalize the township into GIS quadrants or find a way to take the GIS and sectionalize it in nine plates per plate to be able to draw up the pertinent plate and have useful information. Ms. Brees said she is sure they could do it but that she does not work with GIS directly anymore. She said the county resources might fill the gap, and she could check with the county GIS manager to pick some map layers with environmental features and then they could zoom into parcels, which the county has by tax lots. Ms. Brees said that maps are now digitized where the information can be zoomed in on, depending on the accuracy of the information. She asked the EC to share certain environmental features of interest. She said the GIS mapping is on the county website for the EC to use. Ms. Brees said Eric Olsen of The Nature Conservancy and the Andover Township Environmental Commission gave a presentation last week in her office of a mapping program being used in Andover Township. She said something will be put out in July, and Mr. Olsen is another resource. Mr. Williams said he has a trial 30-day GIS, and Ms. Brees said part of what the county GIS department does is share services with municipalities or find ways to make the county information valuable to the town. Chairman Furrey said it would be helpful to have Ms. Brees get the EC in touch with the GIS manager. Ms. Brees mentioned that while the printed maps that are about twenty years old are available in the county office, the updated 2012 FEMA floodplains information is on the county website.
Chairman Furrey explained that the ultimate goal is to take the final document and turn it into a mapping program for practical use. Ms. Brees said she lives in Highland Lakes and could easily come to another meeting to help. Mr. Williams said the NRI needs to be part of the master plan and believes the land use board is using the Connolly NRI from 1992 because the 2004 NRI was not adopted. Mr. Williams said he has a laptop that the EC can use for the maps. Mr. Cheski was looking at the climate section and asked how far back he should be going, and Mr. Williams said to look to see if there are trend lines between ten years back to now and provide a snapshot. Ms. Erichsen said she got it in late but that she has the endangered species section broken down by fish and mammals from going to a website. Mr. Cheski said in the case of climate, there is a very vague chart. Mr. Williams said the old NRI does not have a lot of meat on its bones and he would like to see the history section more fleshed out. Chairman Furrey said Ms. Brees is an excellent resource and told EC members to reach out with questions. He said the EC is working on a greenway and that once the paths are defined, the EC would like to get them into a mapping program to bring awareness of the paths. Ms. Brees said she thinks the county is getting good trail map information and would definitely be interested in adding any paths or greenways. Chairman Furrey said they would try to get the canoe map out, too. The EC expressed their appreciation to Ms. Brees for her help. Mr. Williams said he would spend some time on the county map.
b. Rutgers CORE Training
Councilman John Auberger attended as an employee and Ms. Lai-Minteer attended as a volunteer on Saturday, May 5 to take steps towards obtaining grants. The tree plan (Community Forestry Management Plan) is still needed to obtain points in Sustainable Jersey, but forester Brian MacDonald mentioned that it is feasible to have volunteers work on the plan and then have it reviewed by a knowledgeable body or individual. Ms. Lai-Minteer will provide additional information from the training. The EC will begin working on the tree plan. Recreation director Mishelle Downtain and Ms. Lai-Minteer met on May 10 to discuss the training in relation to Sustainable Jersey. The speakers at CORE training provided contact information and encouraged trainees to reach out to them with questions and for assistance. Chairman Furrey will discuss with Mayor Shortway taking steps towards creation of a shade tree commission.
9. LUB APPLICATIONS UNDER REVIEW
Chairman Furrey said he did not have anything in his mailbox.
10. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
a. April 21, 2018—Regular Meeting Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes was made by Chairman Furrey and was seconded by Mr. Cheski. All were in favor. Minutes were approved.
11. COMMISSIONERS’ COMMENTS
a. Soil Dumping
Chairman Furrey said that action will definitely be taken with this dumping. Representative Gottheimer is a “can do” person and is interested in what is going on here, and Senator Steve Oroho is aware of the situation and interested, too. It is frustrating. Ms. Erichsen asked if the EC has visited the other places people have reported as possible dumping sites and whether the EC should visit. Chairman Furrey said they cannot get onto private property but will try to set something up. Chairman Furrey’s friend lives in Storm Estates and contacted him to do a water test due to her neighbor taking material that is encroaching on her property. Chairman Furrey said he looked at some photos that his friend sent to him, including a photo of soil covering her wellhead. Mr. Cheski asked if the previous EC had gotten involved with the dumping issues to which Chairman Furrey answered that there was no involvement as far as he was aware. Chairman Furrey said he has been in contact with the DEP and the county health department, and it is extremely frustrating when the departments are blaming one another. Mr. Cheski mentioned the movie Mann V. Ford and said it was the only time that a Superfund site was listed twice because the EPA supposedly cleaned it up when it had not. Chairman Furrey said when he was working at the Wanaque Reservoir, he and others had discovered oily sheen about the time the EPA was getting ready to close the case. The site had temporarily been removed as a Superfund site. He said he had a Bergen County reporter come up and they took samples showing levels of toluene and 1,4-dioxane. Soon after that, the site was added back as a Superfund site.
Motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Williams and seconded by Mr. Cheski. All were in favor. Meeting adjourned: 8:52 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Laura Lai-Minteer, Recording Secretary