On August 28, 2019 the following email was sent to Toll Brother by Boswell Engineering lifting the Stop Work Order on that portion located in Upper Saddle River.
Please allow this email to summarize the chronology of this project since the issuance of a Stop Work Orders for this project on July 23, 2019. This email will also rescind the Stop Work Order issued on July 23, 2019 subject to the terms noted below.
Several significant rainstorms occurred during 2019. The onsite storm system malfunctioned on at least two occasions (7/12/19 and 7/22/19) resulting in the discharge of muddy water from the property onto adjacent roadways. This office issued a Stop Work Order on July 23, 2019 for the portion of the project lying within the Borough of Upper Saddle River. The Mayor and Council also requested the Township officials in neighboring Mahwah also issue a Stop Work Order for the portion of the project within that municipality. Mahwah issued a Stop Work Order on the same day. The only permitted activities during the imposition of the Stop Work Orders were directly related to stabilizing the site.
Onsite project meetings occurred on a daily basis and project coordination meetings were held at the Upper Saddle River Borough hall on July 26th, August 2nd and August 9th. Numerous representatives from NJDEP and, the Bergen County Soil Conservation District and USDA were in attendance at the meeting conducted on August 2nd.
The meetings focused on the measures originally specified and field mandated soil erosion and water quality measures on the project. The objectives of these meetings are summarized as follows:
- Assess if the construction activities were in violation of NJ State regulations regarding water quality and, if so, was further enforcement action justified.
- Determine if the field mandated measures were consistent with NJ State “Best Management Practices” regulations and effectively addressed the soil erosion and water quality concerns of the Borough of Upper Saddle River and Township of Mahwah.
- Confirm there is no continuing health concern with arsenic within surface waters exiting the property.
- Determine if additional measures are appropriate to improve water quality in surface waters exiting the property.
On August 2, 2019 a site inspection was also performed by the USDA Soil Conservation Engineer, Bergen County Soil Conservation District and representatives from Upper Saddle River.
On August 13, 2019 a site compliance inspection was conducted by local, county and state officials. Elected officials and representatives from Upper Saddle River, Mahwah, NJDEP, Coastal Land Use Enforcement, USDA, The Bergen County Soul Conservation District and NJ Fish and Wildlife were present. The representatives inspected the onsite and downstream waterway conditions. Numerous locations were assessed and further measures were recommended to address water quality concerns.
On August 19, 2019, the Township of Mahwah lifted the Stop Work Order for the portion of the project lying within that municipality. The basis for this action was the previously existing soil erosion measures, as augmented by the recently installed measures over the period during the 3-week work shutdown, had satisfactorily stabilized the site.
Our office similarly monitored the onsite and downstream conditions within the Pleasant Brook and other waterways. Despite having assurances from the NJDEP that no health concern exists from the levels of arsenic within downstream waterways, the Mayor and Council again authorized the sampling of multiple waterways within the Borough. The Mayor and Council initiated this sampling on a voluntary basis to independently assess the levels of arsenic within waterways in the Borough. The sampling was performed on August 14, 2019. The results were received on August 20, 2019 and confirm all water samples not only met the applicable surface water standard recommended by NJDEP, they also met the NJ State Drinking Water Standard. At this time, over 100 sample test results have been secured over the course of nine sampling rounds. All but 2 are below the NJ State Drinking Water Standard of 5 parts per billion.
A site inspection performed on August 22, 2019 confirmed the site to be acceptably stabilized. The inspection was followed by a significant rainstorm which confirmed the site was properly stabilized and the storm system operated in an acceptable manner.
On August 23, 2019, this office received reports from NJDEP representatives who conducted the site inspection on August 2nd and the site compliance inspection on August 13th. Both reports noted there were no issues warranting any enforcement or further regulatory action.
On August 26, 2019, another site inspection was conducted by the Borough Construction Code Official, our inspector and a representative of Toll Brothers. There was a consensus reached to rescind the Stop Work Order subject to the following conditions:
- The lots North of Lot #21 and the West side of Woodmere Road will be stabilized with deer fencing.
- The deer fencing will be continued behind Lot#21 along the wetland buffer to the dam crossing. This area will also be stabilized.
- Toll Brothers will install another row of silt fencing from the stabilized wetland buffer North of the dam crossing to the Southerly limit of the property.
- The dam crossing will be removed and the area will be stabilized
- The bypass pipes used for the stream restoration will be removed and the area stabilized.
- Additional silt fencing will be added along all sections of deer fencing.
- Lot #20 will be cleaned up and stabilized.
- Deer fencing will be installed where appropriate following the removal of the dam crossing.
- All above-noted work will be complete by October 15, 2019.
This office will continue to monitor the work being performed to insure it will be completed by October 15, 2019.
The Governing Body will continue to work with County, State, and Federal Agencies to ensure the health and safety of our residents and to hold the developer accountable. Updates and monthly surface water test results will be posted on the Borough website.