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Development of Superfund site in Toms River, N.J. discussed at public meeting
NJDEP holds public meeting on BASF settlement proposal
Brian Johnston, Asbury Park Press
TOMS RIVER – Save Barnegat Bay will be held at Silverton Farms on Sunday, Nov. 12, as environmental groups continue their fight against the state’s settlement of a natural resource damage lawsuit involving Ciba-Geigy. A pep rally to support our rivers will be held. . Superfund site.
The event will be held at the farm, located at 1520 Silverton Road, from noon to 5 p.m. There will be live music, food games, a special performance by the Toms River South Marching Indian Band, and a “sneak peek” at CONfluence, a new documentary about saving Barnegat Bay. The event is free.
Save Barnegat Bay and Toms River are challenging the state Department of Environmental Protection’s settlement with BASF, which purchased the Ciba-Geigy property in 2009. Some experts helping Save Barnegat Bay’s fight will be on hand Sunday to speak with residents.
Both Toms River and environmental advocates argue that the state failed to accurately quantify the damage caused to the Toms River, groundwater and land during Ciba-Geigy’s more than 40-year industrial dye operations. The land has been on the federal Superfund list since his early 1980s.
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The settlement between the state and BASF was approved by Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Sean LaTourette in August. LaTourette called it a “very good deal” because it permanently protects the groundwater on the property. The agreement ends a 2007 lawsuit brought by the state against Ciba for damaging New Jersey’s natural resources.
The settlement will preserve 1,000 acres of the approximately 1,400-acre site, but will allow BASF to develop 250 acres along Route 37.
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The settlement includes developing portions of the site for public access, including the construction of an environmental center, a pollinator garden, and a boardwalk that will provide access to the site for hiking and bird watching. . LaTourette estimated BASF’s cost to improve the land would be between $35 million and $40 million.
The current settlement requires BASF to contribute $500,000 to the state. Toms River will not receive any of that money.
Experts hired by Save Barnegat Bay told an audience at the organization’s annual meeting this summer that the DEP underestimated the amount of damage to natural resources caused by Ciba-Geigy’s dye manufacturing operations by as much as 90 percent. He said he thinks it is.
Silverton Farm is owned by Thomas Nivison, who was elected to the town council on November 7th by Republican mayor-elect Daniel Rodrick.
Gene Mickle has covered Toms River and several other Ocean County towns and has written about Jersey Shore local government and politics for nearly 40 years. She is also passionate about the Shore’s storied music scene. Contact her: @jeanmikle, email@example.com.