TOWNSHIP OF BARNEGAT, NEW JERSEY
Mayor’s Report – September 18, 2012
On August 31, 2012 at approximately 10:35 pm, Ptl. Nicholas Venuto, Ptl. Andrew Parsley and Ptl. George Martin pulled an accident victim from a burning vehicle, saving his life. We will be honoring our brave officers at our next meeting on October 1, 2012. The police department requested this delay so that the accident victim, Mr. Pereira, could be present. Job well done.
Over the past few months there has been concern regarding off-site and possible ground water contamination at Tanner’s Pit. In 2004, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection had issued numerous violations regarding the use of Tanner’s Pit. The Committee and I have made inquiries into this situation with Township Engineer, John Hess and information given to me by concerned residents. Please allow me to quote the findings of our Engineer.
“The violation notices concern the operation of an unlicensed Class ‘B’ recycling operation at the site. There is no indication in any of the violation notices of any surface water or groundwater contamination. Please note that these violations were documented in the report prepared by our office on declaring the Gunning River Road area to be in need of redevelopment. Also, in Section 2.8 Environmental Assessment of our report, it notes that we conducted a preliminary due diligence effort to determine the potential liabilities which may be present within, as well as proximate to, the Study Area. Our review of the New Jersey Department of environmental Protection (NJDEP) database revealed that neither the study area nor properties in its immediate vicinity are identified as a Known Contaminated Site. We also noted that the Tanners Pit property is identified as a NJDEP New Jersey Environmental Management System (NJEMS) site. NJEMS sites are properties either regulated by the NJDEP under one or more regulatory permitting or enforcement programs, or sites that are otherwise of interest to the NJDEP. Based on the prior violation notices, it certainly is an area of interest to the NJDEP.
When the Stone Hill @ Barnegat project was before the Planning Board, many of the residents of the Oak Hill Homes and Holly Oaks development were represented by an attorney. He did not present any expert testimony regarding off-site contamination affecting the site. As a result, the Planning Board based their decision on the information that was available to them. As I indicated, we have absolutely no information to substantiate a claim of surface water or groundwater contamination resulting from Tanners Pit. As a result, it remains my recommendation that the Township send a letter to the Commissioner of the NJDEP stating the concerns that have been raised by the residents of the area and asking that the NJDEP conduct an investigation to address the following issues:
- Are there any oil tanks, toxic waste or water quality violations at the site which could impact the health, safety and welfare of the adjoining residents?
- Is the Stone Hill @ Barnegat site the home of juvenile bald eagles or other threatened and/or endangered species and would the presence in the area be sufficient to prohibit construction of this development?”
After reviewing all of the documentation at hand and conferring with Engineering and Legal council, the Committee recognizes that the site should be investigated. Unfortunately, Barnegat Township has NO legal authority to stop the Stone Hill Development. However, the Township has notified NJDEP about the situation and will continue to pursue it, until NJDEP does its investigation and releases its findings.
Work on the World Trade Center Memorial has been hampered by weather, but is continuing. Most of the labor and material has been donated by private individuals. As soon as it is completed, there will be a Memorial Ceremony that will take place probably on a Saturday and be open to the public. All contributors will be recognized and honored at the first meeting after the dedication.
Barnegat Township was very pleased to accept a check in the amount of $17,873.18 from the Ocean County Recycling Revenue Sharing Program. Market conditions have enabled the County to return $13.57 for each ton of material delivered from our Municipality to the County facility. I would like to thank all township residents who are diligent with their recycling.
Mayor, Township of Barnegat
Tuesday September 18, 2012