TRENTON – Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today announced that work has begun to remove approximately 40,000 cubic yards of fill dirt that was placed illegally within the flood zone of the Raritan River in Bound Brook, Somerset County.
The removal is the result of negotiations between Brook Industrial Park and DEP’s Compliance and Enforcement program. The agreement followed a Superior Court ruling in April 2011 that found Brook Industrial Park, its owner James G. Schleck, and its property manager, Richard Dobrzynski, in violation of the state’s Flood Hazard Area Control Act for allowing the fill to be deposited at the site by Arthur Fletcher, Jr. and his company, G&A Holdings, LLC, according to DEP.
“Our message is simple: Mountains of illegally placed dirt such as this one in Bound Brook are not going to be tolerated any longer,” Martin said in a release.
“I commend the DEP on their steadfast diligence in this matter,” said Bound Brook Mayor Carey Pilato. “Moving these dirt piles could not come a day too soon.”
The fill dirt at the Brook Industrial Park, which contains slightly elevated levels of a hydrocarbon known as benzo(a)pyrene, will be moved to the former Nuodex Corp. site in Fords, Woodbridge Township, where it will be used as grading material in the redevelopment of the site, DEP said.
This site is part of the Keasbey Redevelopment Area brownfields redevelopment project, and is authorized to accept minimally contaminated fill, such as the Brook Industrial Park material, under strict DEP oversight.
The DEP is working with Woodbridge to clean up contamination at former industrial properties and develop the area as a gas-fired power plant and eco-park that will allow public access to the Raritan River and associated wetlands. The township is also developing a resource-recovery park for recycling, compost processing and other resource reuse.