“We are thankful that the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club shares our environmental concerns with the proposed quarry redevelopment in Basking Ridge,” says Laurie Albee, supporter of Friends of Stop the Quarry Plan, LLC. “The Sierra Club’s outstanding work supporting the environment is nationally recognized and we couldn’t ask for a better partner.”
There is a meeting scheduled at 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 24th to decide whether the town will proceed with the quarry plan. People will have an opportunity to speak and a large turnout is expected. The meeting will be held at Ridge High School Performing Arts Center, 268 S Finley Ave, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
The following is the Sierra Club resolution calling for a halt to redevelopment without an approved cleanup plan.
RESOLUTION ADVOCATING A HALT TO MILLINGTON QUARRY DEVELOPMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF AN APPROVED CLEANUP PLAN
WHEREAS developers in the town of Basking Ridge in Bernards Township, with the approval of the Bernards Township Council, want to build a mixed use development project consisting of up to 235 housing units,215,000 square feet of retail space and a hotel of up to 250 rooms on the contaminated site of the 183-acre former Millington Quarry, and
WHEREAS this site contains commercial fertilizer from landfill brought in by the owner of the quarry that was used to improperly cover soil from the quarry and may now not support vegetation, and
WHEREAS the site contains an expanding lake from runoff that is projected to reach 50 acres and has unacceptably high levels of contaminants, such as lead, Benzo(a)anthracene and metals such as aluminum and silver at the lake bottom, and
WHEREAS the developer envisions this lake for boating and other recreational uses, and
WHEREAS the possibility exists for heavy fertilizer runoff into the lake and surrounding communities, which include the Passaic River, and
WHEREAS the site contains a cliff wall of approximately 200 feet adjacent to a NJ Transit rail line which could possibly have damaging erosion and runoff, and
WHEREAS there is no approved environmental cleanup plan, yet the township is trying to proceed without one, and
WHEREAS a secondary access road to the site is proposed at a NJ Transit train crossing on Pond Hill Road, posing a danger to rail and vehicular traffic, and
WHEREAS there are limited roadways in the area that would be unable to support the greatly expanded traffic into and out of the development, and
WHEREAS there is no public transportation element in the site plan;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club urges that planning for this development be halted until the developers and the Township Council agree on a cleanup plan, which has been subject to open and transparent public hearings, to remove the contaminants from the quarry site and the lake bottom, and to complete the remediation and full restoration plan.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Chapter recommends that no changes to existing zoning rules be made by the Township Council until the approved environmental cleanup is complete, and until a public transportation component is incorporated into the site plan