Hardyston residents implore township

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:53

    to help with trucking, dumping issue Hardyston — Residents on Mountain Road in Hardyston Township have seen their drinking water turn cloudy, wells dry up and their formerly quiet street turn into a route for 10 -12 trucks a day hauling loaded dumpsters onto a neighboring property that is not zoned for the activity. Approximately a dozen residents pleaded with township officials to stop the trucking and dumping activities immediately while health and environmental threats are examined. “The Township of Hardyston has been aware since early March that Northern Sanitation has been operating in a residential zone,” said resident Phil Bacon, reading from a prepared statement. “The Township of Hardyston is charged with preserving and protecting the safety, health, and welfare of all of its residents.” Those residents are wondering what is taking so long. Northern Sanitation and its subsidiary, Bluejay Trucking, have been issued a summons to appear in township court on July 1 at 1 p.m. relating to activities on the Mountain Road property. While the paperwork is processed and the court date approaches, the residents continue to suffer. “I have to run the bathroom fan when I take a shower,” said a resident who declined to be identified. “Not to remove the steam but to remove the smell of the water. One neighbor is having her well drilled deeper.” The wells in the area are shallow and have been trouble-free for years before the alleged digging and dumping started. The residents wanted an immediate stop order in March while issues were addressed. They are frustrated and angry at the delays that are affecting their quality of life. The residents allege that the company has been sorting trash at the location, picking out recyclable metals for re-sale and burying the remaining trash. “Northern Sanitation has to be afforded due process,” said Township Manager Marianne Smith speaking in place of the absent municipal attorney. “We all understand your frustration. We are doing everything in our power and authority.” The residents were not comforted and Bacon pointed out that the court date has already been pushed back twice. “We don’t like this any more than you do,” said Mayor Leslie Hamilton. Seeing that they were not going to get any immediate action, the residents left the meeting. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has taken notice of the goings-on and issued a violation notice for activity on a transition area of a wetland. When contacted, Northern Sanitation referred any questions to their attorney, who could not be reached.