Recent Happenings (Scroll Down To See All Recent News)
Update on the Ringwood Superfund Site
Posted December 2, 2016 by Ross Kushner
The EPA is demanding that Ringwood submit 2 plans for cleanup of the superfund site. One for capping, and one for removal. There will be a public meeting to discuss the site next Tuesday (Dec 6th) at 7 p.m. at the Ryerson Middle School, 130 Valley Road, Ringwood. The news story is at See the news story here:
River Work For Pompton Lakes Still In Limbo
Posted October 9, 2016 by Ross Kushner
Back in August, a news story reported that the NJDEP had suspended Pompton Lakes permit to perform work in the Pompton River, Wanaque River, Pequannock River and Posts Brook. Despite the borough's contention that this would be a quick and easy fix, it was not. As we showed, their proposed work violated many state regulations and required extensive modification to be legitimate. To date, Pompton Lakes has yet to resubmit an application. The news story is at See the news story here:
Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Quarry Expansion
Posted October 9, 2016 by Ross Kushner
The article details the lawsuit initiated against Bloomingdale to reverse the expansion of the Tilcon quarry on Federal Hill. PRC, the NJ Highlands Coalition and many local residents are supporting this effort financially. See more at See the news story here:
Ringwood Superfund Headed for the Courts – You Can Help!
Posted September 3, 2016 by Ross Kushner
This story describes the ongoing situation in Ringwood - See the news story here:
A judge will soon decide if the ballot question on the Superfund site can go to the voters.
We find this point utterly amazing – “Members of Ringwood Cares, a small volunteer group, said they do not have enough money to hire a lawyer to represent them in the matter. The township, meanwhile, was represented by two attorneys on Friday while Ford brought three.”
We feel for the members of Ringwood Cares, forced to face giants with tissue paper. This is a black eye for NJ’s environmental community. Again.
Where is the Sierra Club? The NJ Highlands Coalition?? The Eastern Environmental Law Center??? Why have none of the regional enviro groups with big bucks and deep pockets stepped forward to assist? The mission of the Eastern Environmental Law Center is “…working on behalf of environmental and conservation organizations to protect communities, open space, wildlife, and the natural heritage and public health of the eastern United States for generations to come.” Sounds like a good fit!
If you agree, send an email to Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club at jeff.tittel@SierraClub.org, Julia Somers of the NJ Highlands Coalition at email@example.com, and Aaron Kleinbaum of the Eastern Environmental Law Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask them to get involved!
You can also make a donation to Ringwood Cares at Ringwood CARES
Zoning ordinance for quarry expansion adopted
Posted August 19, 2016 by Ross Kushner
As we predicted, the Bloomingdale council voted to approve the rezoning of Federal Hill for expansion of the Tilcon quarry. Only Councilman Michael Sondermeyer voted against it.
Now, the clock is ticking for filing a suit to have the ordinance reversed. Linda Huntley of the Committee to Save federal Hill spoke briefly on this last night.
PRC fought the good fight. Since 2015 we have put on record a long list of objections and countless corrections to both the overlay zoning and the documents that support it. It is destructive of the environment, will promote flooding, and will cause a huge reduction in local residential property values. Not one of these concerns has ever been addressed.
Although every community is free to choose its own path, this should be done honestly, and based on factual information. In this case, every report, study, and document produced in support of an expanded quarry has contained misinformation, false assumptions, and, in some cases, what can only be seen as outright attempts to deceive the public.
As examples, the Meer Tract Flood Study on the borough website was based on a quarry expansion that would be limited to the Phase 3 line in Tilcon’s presentation. But the quarry is not limited to that line. Therefore, the study is meaningless. Yet, it remains on the borough website to convince any skeptical residents.
The Otteau Group Report, also on the borough website, used a paired sales analysis to support their opinion that there would be no reduction in property values due to the expanded quarry. However, the analysis showed homes 2,000 feet from a quarry as “near to quarry” and homes only 900 feet from a quarry as “distant from quarry”. In no case was a home in the study within 300 feet of an active quarry as permitted by the borough ordinance. Due to these serious errors, the study’s conclusions are useless.
The Reading Associates Report, a financial analysis, used as a cornerstone the “fact” that the borough would receive a land donation from Tilcon valued at $10 million. This information, according to Mayor Dunleavy, was supplied by him. However, in numerous public statements, the mayor has said there is no agreement for this land donation and never will be. The report is another baseless document who’s only purpose is to deceive our citizens.
Other documents produced, such as the Periodic Reexamination or the modified Master Plan were just as flawed. In fact, never in our 20 year history have we seen such misinformation foisted on the public.
Not one of these problems was ever questioned or corrected by Bloomingdale officials, as long as they supported the quarry expansion. Only citizens who spoke against the rezoning have been badgered and ridiculed.
PRC’s position is that, at some point, intentionally supplying and broadcasting false information, and failing to correct false documents with well-known, established errors, crosses the line from unethical to criminal. We must question the conduct of the planning board, the mayor, and the council in this light.
A public official is guilty of a crime if he or she “…knowingly makes a false entry in, or false alteration of, any record, document or thing belonging to, or received or kept by, the government for information or record…”. The false information supplied by the mayor seems to fit this.
It is our hope that legal means will be effective in overturning the decision to approve this rezoning. We’ll keep you posted.