Clean one site up, contaminate at least 8 others.
The 8th construction site receiving toxic debris was found last week, a hotel being built in Edison. From the Star Ledger:
The debris, tainted with low levels of PCBs, is at the center of a civil and criminal investigation being conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General’s Office, as authorities try to determine how it was allowed off-site without state approvals. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also are investigating.
The coverage began on March 7 with a mention of developer Jack Morris, whose Edgewood Properties owns the other 7 sites that received the debris:
Ford Motor Co. must devise a cleanup plan for the thousands of tons of PCB-tainted concrete debris remaining at its old assembly plant in Edison, a Middlesex County health official said yesterday.
For three hours yesterday, Ford representatives, county health staffers and officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection met in Trenton to discuss the handling of the contaminated concrete, officials said.
David Papi, the director of the county health department, assigned six staffers from his department to investigate the tainted debris, which is also the subject of a criminal investigation.
Last week the state Attorney General’s Office announced it was launching a probe to determine how PCB-tainted concrete from the Ford site ended up in five residential and commercial sites in Middlesex and Mercer counties owned by Piscataway developer Jack Morris.
Morris, who owns Edgewood Properties, claims he was not aware the debris it received was contaminated, while Ford has said it informed the developer that the debris had low levels of PCBs — polychlorinated biphenyls — which are classified as a probable cause of cancer.
Papi said his department was “skipped over” when Ford began disposing of the concrete left when the old assembly plant was leveled. Last Friday, the county won a restraining order in court against Ford, stopping the automaker from moving any of the 93,000 tons of debris left on its property.
It looks like a big challenge for Edison’s new mayor, Jun Choi:
Edison Mayor Jun Choi said he learned yesterday the hotel site received more than 8,000 tons of concrete contaminated with polychlo rinated biphenyls, which are classified as a probable cause of cancer.
“Obviously it is a concern,” Choi said. “Every day we learn something new as we investigate.”
Although the state is responsible for the oversight:
To partly avoid the expense of disposing of concrete debris from the site, the automaker made the material — some of it contaminated with low levels of cancer- causing PCBs — available for free.
Piscataway-based developer Edgewood Properties carted away thousands of tons of the debris, depositing it in at least six of its sites in Middlesex, Mercer and Ocean counties.
The contaminated debris is now at the center of a civil and criminal probe being conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General’s office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are also investigating.
The probe puts a spotlight on the business practices and relatively lax oversight of the concrete recycling industry in New Jersey, which produces 4 million tons of concrete, asphalt brick, cinder block each year.