A well-heeled developer is proposing to bring millions of tons of highly contaminated soil to a site directly along the Rahway River and adjacent to the Arthur Kill. In fact, they plan to dump more than 2 million tons of more heavily contaminated waste on top of environmentally sensitive area along the Rahway River. After empty promises of a project that would restore this environmentally sensitive area, their application will turn the Rahway River and Arthur Kill into a giant toxic dumping ground and label it as a "Soil Class B Recycling" facility. Their permit applications are full of misleading data, misapplied permits, and environmental risks for central New Jersey residents and the environment. Meanwhile, the developers will be making tens of millions of dollars in profit. Similar projects in South Jersey have turned into incredibly troubling environmental disasters leading to violations, false engineering, and destruction of sensitive wetland areas. These projects are a waste of taxpayers’ money and externalize the risk to you and I while making this relatively unknown company ultra-wealthy. They appear to be politically strong-arming the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) by hiring politically connected law firms in order to get their plans and applications approved without stipulations.
Please sign the petition below and send a message that our estuaries are no longer toxic waste landfills. Stop these polluters from further destroying our waterways and ecosystems that are finally starting to rebound from the past abuse during the industrial revolution. Tell NJDEP to reject Soil Safe's permit applications for a so called “remediation”.
NJDEP issued conditional permits for Soil Safe’s permit applications to import over a million tons of contaminated soil and pile it on top of unstable berms at the former Cytec Industries site in Carteret, New Jersey. NJDEP internal component reviews raised a plethora of serious concerns, namely that the project will collapse into the Rahway River. None of agency reviewers’ were concerns were addressed in Soil Safe’s revised application. Why are you ignoring staff’s professional opinions and allowing this project to proceed?
The applicant claims that the site has to be remediated and requires 1.5 million tons of contaminated soil in order to properly “cap” the property to 29 feet when a standard cap is two feet. Additionally, a No Further Action (NFA) status –issued by DEP--remains for this site, leaving no real justification for remediating the site.
The applicant is requesting an inexplicable and unjustified hardship exemption from the Flood Hazard Rule, which clearly states that it prohibits the processing of hazardous materials in a floodplain. The site is in a flood plain, why would the Administration entertain allowing Soil Safe to have unsecured contaminated material where it can be washed away?
The permit application proposes to raise 90 acres out of a flood plain which stores millions of cubic gallons of water in flood events, yet the application does not include any flood impact studies. Given the destruction from flooding from Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, why is your Administration not hyper-concerned about flooding?
There are also several threatened and endangered species that potentially utilize the Rahway River and Arthur Kill for habitat and breeding including the yellow-crowned night-heron, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, diamond back terrapin, osprey, black-crowned night-heron, and American bittern. Given these facts, there must be proper environmental inventory and ecological studies conducted prior to any action at this site.
Finally, NJDEP allowed the applicant Soil Safe to submit its final Remedial Action Work Plan AFTER the conditional approval was granted by NJDEP, which is not appropriate. NJDEP must come up with a plan to properly delineate and remediate this site in a way protective of human health and the environment instead of leaving it up to the profit driven developer. Simply covering contaminated soil with over 2 million tons, 29 feet high, of higher levels of contaminated soil is NOT in any way, shape or form, a remediation.
Perhaps most troubling, in addition to the serious environmental concerns, Soil Safe's history of conduct has been extremely detrimental to the environment including numerous egregious NJDEP violations. At their site in South Jersey, instead of abiding to their permit regulations, Soil Safe failed to report imported contaminated materials, and was eventually kicked off of their site by the state. In an era of overly business friendly oversight and less than minimal enforcement, to be kicked off a site by NJDEP is truly remarkable. This company has a history of bringing in material that is far more contaminated than they have admitted to. They have a history of violating their permits and paying the minimal fines while making millions. Soil Safe now wants to use the Cytec site for similar purposes and this vulnerable area along the Rahway River must not be comprised by activity of this company for that sake of what amounts to corporate greed.
Soil Safe's proposal to re-open this site and bring millions of tons of contaminated material into an already impaired ecosystem is absolutely absurd. The Author Kill and the Rahway River are a resource in recovery, and Soil Safe must not compromise its recovery, sensitive ecosystems, endangered species, and taxpayer dollars for their own bottom line benefit. Please deny Soil Safe's permit applications for the former Cytec property and protect the human health and environment in New Jersey.