Vernon plans to remove debris from proposed pump track site

| 06 Nov 2020 | 01:35

Vernon Township expects to remove a pile of debris from the site of a proposed bicycle pump track near the Town Center.

There are three other piles that need additional environmental testing, business administrator Charles Voelker told the council on Oct. 15.

Voelker told the township engineer, Corey Stoner, that he would like to have the one pile, which is comprised of asphalt, removed before winter sets in. The removal needs to be overseen by Excel Environmental Resources.

Excel reported that 16 separate piles at the site were mostly street sweepings, according to an email Voelker sent to the Department of Environmental Protection’s David Ongaro. Voelker told the DEP that 11 of the 16 piles did not meet DEP safety standards.

One hundred tons of soil surrounding the clippings must be removed as well, he said.

According to DEP permit-writers, street sweepings are useful for filling potholes, Ongaro said in an email dated Sept. 29.

Voelker said Vernon’s Department of Public Works will handle the removal unless the township can get a reasonable price from an outside company to do it. Then the township will have to figure out if the sweepings need to be taken to the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority or to the incinerator.

Councilwoman Jean Murphy said she saw social media posts that the township was buying property for the proposed pump track. The site is already township-owned, and the township was using it as a storage yard, she said.

Councilman Andrew Pitsker said he is doing his own research on the site. He has been looking at the 2,600-page document from Excel on testing and remediation, which he said was very thorough.

“I’ve seen some progress,” Pitsker said. “I keep noting areas where I see what’s called ‘solid waste and debris.’ It’s being cleaned up, but every time I go in there and I see something, I report it. Chuck and the group have been very quick to respond. I will continue to research and monitor it and look at all these alleged pictures and discussions about it.”