Apple Ridge Update:  There have been continued concerns raised by residents regarding the remediation on the former Apple Ridge Golf Course site.  The project is under the jurisdiction of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.  It has also been overseen by the NJ Department of Agriculture, Bergen County Soil Conservation District and the Bergen County Health Department.  All methodology, oversight, test results and final approvals of the remediation have been in accordance with the NJDEP recommendations and guidelines.  The remediation process employed a method known as soil blending which reduces concentrations of targeted contaminants, in this case lead and arsenic, to meet residential direct contact standards. This is a widely used remediation method to protect public health and is in full accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations.   At this time, the Borough has no reason to discount the work of the NJDEP.

The remediation on the 112 acre golf course in Mahwah and Upper Saddle River was completed on December 22, 2017.  Based on the results of over 700 post-remedial soil samples collected across the site and analyzed in accordance with NJ Dept of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regulations and protocols, the soils across the entire site meet the most stringent Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standards for the contaminants of concern – arsenic and lead due to the site’s prior use as an apple orchard in which these were used routinely as pesticides.  In addition, during the remediation, EcolSciences Inc, a licensed environmental management and regulatory compliance firm, conducted daily dust monitoring activities at the site.  Over the course of 40 consecutive weeks of monitoring, only one marginal exceedance of the United States Environmental Protection Agency National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 0.150 mg/m3 was identified on August 29, 2017, and the exceedance was due to machinery idling in the immediate vicinity of the monitoring equipment and not a result of dust emissions related to the site.

However, the Governing Body, in response to concerns raised despite frequent reassurances from the state, county and review of test results by our Borough engineers and LSRPs, brought the matter to Congressman Josh Gottheimer and Governor Murphy’s office early this month.  All documentation and history have been provided to them.  The Borough does not have the authority to overrule the state agency.  We thank both Congressman Gottheimer and the Governor for their assistance in this matter in advance.

We have requested that they work with the Borough to:

–           Review the methodology, test results and final approval of the  remediation to assure us that the NJDEP has done its oversight correctly. 

–          Assess whether there is anything in addition that should be done

–          If so, help us get that accomplished

–          If everything is again concluded as having been done correctly, help reassure residents