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BREAKING : TOLL BROTHERS APPLE RIDGE SITE HAS REALEASED OVER 24 LBS OF ARSENIC DUST INTO LOCAL WATERWAYS

photo by Derek Michalski

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper saddle River NJ, its been claimed that Toll Brothers has committed an unprecedented environmental disaster at Apple Ridge (The Preserve at USR & Mahwah) impacting the entire Saddle River Valley with irreversible ecological damage

According to a report just issued , “The Toxicological Impact of the Toll Brothers’ Apple Ridge Development to the Saddle River Valley Ecosystem and Its Residents” claims runoff from “the 110-acre site formerly known as the Apple Ridge Country Club. The name Apple Ridge harkens back to the land’s origins at the turn of the 20th century as an apple orchard owned by the Carlough family. The tract of land mostly lies within the borders USR and Mahwah with a smaller portion of land extending into Ramsey. In 2013, this magnificent property was sold by the Carlough family to a developer with the intent of building high-density housing. When the boroughs of USR and Mahwah balked at the idea of allowing high-density housing the property was sold to Toll Brothers for the development of 78 single family homes.”

Continue reading BREAKING : TOLL BROTHERS APPLE RIDGE SITE HAS REALEASED OVER 24 LBS OF ARSENIC DUST INTO LOCAL WATERWAYS
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DEP’s Proposed Water Rule Means More Dirty Water

photo at Apple Ridge by Derek Michalski

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, The Department of Environmental Protection NJ Department of Environmental Protection is proposing amendments, repeals, and new rules to the Stormwater Management rules, N.J.A.C. 7:8. This is the first rule under the DEP have proposed under the Murphy Administration.  A public hearing on the proposal is today, Tuesday January 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm at the Department of Environmental Protection. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club released the following statement:

“DEP’s proposed rule fails to adequately protect New Jersey from flooding and non-point pollution. These rules are a step backwards, they do not deal with climate change, more frequent flooding, combined sewer overflows, and would make it easier to build pipelines. It allows for green infrastructure however it says to the maximum extension practice which is a loophole big enough to fit a bulldozer through.  The biggest problem with this rule is that it continues Christie’s rollbacks on wetlands, flood hazard, and stormwater.

“The rule calls for green infrastructure but keeps the current standards in place that do not work. It also does not effectively monitor the green infrastructure. The rules exempt existing development, they do not require retrofitting of stormwater retention and detention basin systems. It does not require enough recharge or to break up impervious cover to absorb more water. Instead, we should be treating stormwater through natural filtration into sub soils followed by vegetation. The proposed rule does not restore the 300-foot buffers, SWARPA, or calls for revegetating stream buffers or riparian corridors as a way of dealing with non-point pollution.

“DEP’s stormwater rule is seriously flawed and does not change the basic standard. The rule treats impervious cover with automobiles different with other types of impervious cover, which we believe is wrong. It does not deal with compacted soils which in parts of New Jersey are like of impervious cover. The rule also does not include any bonding required for infrastructure in case the system fails, it also does not require maintenance or monitoring.

“The model is based on dealing 100-year storm events that we are having every year. The 100-yr storm model does not work because of climate change and frequency of intense storms, we are also getting a lot more rain. Modelers are looking at 250 year and 500 year storms.  This means if you leave along the Passaic or the Raritan River, you’re going to need snorkels. Instead of moving us forward it keeps the status quo.

“Existing development is exempted from the stormwater rule, which is already the largest source of non-pollution in our state. This means a box store being built on a former shopping center or a high rise in New Brunswick will be exempted. Roofs and sidewalks are also not included under the rules, even though they contribute to extra pollution.

“Combined sewer overflow is a major problem in New Jersey, but the rule does not really address it.  CSOs are a health hazard, especially when concerned with sea level rise. The rule does not require any restrictions on holding back on water on ground or near properties. It also has no language that would clean up nitrogen and phosphorous in our water. Dilapidated storm water systems exacerbate the problem by increasing the water in combined sewers and we need funding to reduce the amount of water in sewers during major storm events. Only 5% of streams in New Jersey meet standards for being fishable, swimmable, and drinkable, mostly because of non-point solution. 65% of our streams are impacted by phosphorus. We have to retrofit urban areas for stormwater management. Things like green roofs, wet gardens can help and prevent combined sewer overflow however these methods are exempted because the rule exempts redevelopment.

“These rules do not reverse Christie’s rollbacks on stormwater, buffers, or wetlands. They still give preference for engineered controls like basins and outfall structures that can cause more erosion. DEP’s new Stormwater Management rule does not replace the nonstructural point system and requires most of BMP. Most of BMPs only work 50% of the time in ultimate situations. They do not work in areas with steep slopes or high groundwater. The rules do not deal with total suspended solids and do not have nutrient limits for nitrogen or phosphorus. They need to have those requirements in order to do TMDL.

“Non- point pollution is the biggest source of water pollution in New Jersey. This rule does not change the basic standard of the amount of water that can be adsorbed into the ground or cleanup of non-point pollution. It still has the same standards that do not work in New Jersey in the last 40 years. That is our largest source of pollution mostly because of runoff. We are seeing Barnegat Bay dying because of non point pollution and runoff. Dissolved oxygen levels are dropping due to high levels of nutrients from stormwater, resulting in algae blooms. We have to address the stormwater management and nonpoint source pollution issues in the Bay otherwise we are going to turn the Barnegat Bay into the state’s largest stormwater detention basin as the Bay continues to die.

“DEP is just taking the broken current system and adding some green amendments. This is really green cover for a rule that will cause more flooding and water pollution. The rule has a few positives but overall does nothing to change the status quo of pointless non-pollution.  It also does not deal or address storm impacts from pipelines or industrial compressor stations. The biggest source of pollution we face is nonpoint pollution and we need to retrofit our stormwater basins to protect our waterways, while revitalizing our waterfront neighborhoods and communities. DEP’s first rule is still a Christie rule that also has nothing to do with climate change, sea level rise, and will add just add more flooding. This rule just create more pointless non-point pollution,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

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Assemblywoman Schepisi Calls New Jersey ,”one of the most corrupt states in the entire country”

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Saddle River NJ, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is calling on New Direction to release the list of its donors. She says with major legislation being debated, the Governor’s Office needs to be seen as above reproach.

“Under no circumstances should there be any perception, in one of the most corrupt states in the entire country, that people are being able to buy influence within the Governor’s Office,” she said.

Attorney Daryl Kipnis said on Facebook ,”This is what happens when career NJ politicians in both parties (mostly Democrats of course) get re-elected without trying. $2.4M spent on lobbying gets a $300M/year annual subsidy (that YOU pay for) for 1 company, who then cuts a $55K “Thank You” campaign check to the wrong political slush fund.”

https://www.njtvonline.org/…/dark-money-debate-focuses-on-…/

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DEP First Clean Water Rule Doesn’t Make Our Water Cleaner

photo courtesy of Derek Michalski

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, The Department of Environmental Protection NJ Department of Environmental Protection is proposing amendments, repeals, and new rules to the Stormwater Management rules, N.J.A.C. 7:8. This is the first rule under the DEP have proposed under the Murphy Administration.  A public hearing on the proposal will be Tuesday January 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm at the Department of Environmental Protection

“New Jersey has serious problems with flooding and water quality from runoff. DEP’s new rule is a step backwards and not forward when it comes to dealing with stormwater. It does not deal with climate change, flooding, combined sewer overflows, and would make it easier to build pipelines. The new the rule has too many exemptions and furthers Christie’s rollbacks on protections to our waterways. It allows for green infrastructure which is good however it says to the maximum extension practice which is a loophole big enough to fit a bulldozer through,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We have waited almost a year for a new Murphy DEP rule to be proposed. The rule is not only a disappointment, but we have to actually oppose it. This rule was worked by the Christie Administration and proposed by Murphy Administration went forward with this anyway.”

The DEP is proposing to replace the current requirement that major developments incorporate nonstructural stormwater management strategies to the “maximum extent practicable” to meet groundwater recharge standards, stormwater runoff quantity standards, and stormwater runoff quality standards, with a requirement that green infrastructure be utilized to meet these same standards.

“The rule has major flaws in it. The model is based on dealing 100-year storm events that we are having every year. It doesn’t really change the flood system. The rule does not look at climate change or the frequency and intensity of storms. This means if you leave along the Passaic or the Raritan River, your going to need snorkels.  Instead of moving us forward it keeps the status quo. It exempts existing development which is already the largest source of non-pollution in our state. Which means a box store being built on a former shopping center or a high rise in New Brunswick will be exempted. Roofs and sidewalks are also not included under the rules, even though they contribute to extra pollution,” said Tittel.  

The NJDEP looks to incorporate green infrastructure to be utilized to meet the same standards groundwater recharge standards, stormwater runoff quantity standards, and stormwater runoff quality standards.

“The rule calls for green infrastructure but keeps the current standards that do not work. It also keeps in place Christie’s rollbacks of the 300 foot buffers, SWARPA, revegetating stream buffers or riparian corridors as a way of dealing with non-point pollution. The amended stormwater rules does nothing to retrofit our stormwater retention and detention basin systems that don’t work that break up impervious cover to absorb more water. This rule is a continuation of Christie’s rollbacks on wetlands, flood hazard, and stormwater that does not protect stream buffers or C1 streams,” said Tittel.  DEP’s proposal for green infrastructure in the new rule is with just an added green veneer.”

New Jersey need at least $14 billion just to fix our combined sewer overflow systems, but overall we need more than $45 billion to fix our water and sewage infrastructure. We’ve been kicking the can down the road for so long that now the road is underwater and the can is clogging a storm drain. The biggest source of pollution we face is nonpoint pollution and we need to retrofit our stormwater basins to protect our waterways, while revitalizing our waterfront neighborhoods and communities.

“The rule does not really deal with address combined sewer overflow. CSOs are a health hazard, especially when concerned with sea level rise. The rule does not require any restrictions on holding back on water on ground or near properties. It also has no language that would clean up nitrogen and phosphorous in our water. Dilapidated storm water systems exacerbate the problem by increasing the water in combined sewers and we need funding to reduce the amount of water in sewers during major storm events. Only 5% of streams in New Jersey meet standards for being fishable, swimable, and drinkable, mostly because of non-point solution. 65% of our streams are impacted by phosphorus,” said Tittel. “We have to retrofit urban areas for stormwater management. Things like green roofs, wet gardens can help and prevent combined sewer overflow however these methods are exempted because the rule exempts redevelopment.”

Over ten percent of the land in New Jersey is impervious surface, making us prone to flooding and pollution problems. The Christie Administration has weakened our coastal areas to more flooding and pollution. Their Flood Hazard rules add more development to environmentally sensitive areas, getting rid of stream buffers, and eliminating protections for headwaters. Then in a one-two punch for water quality, the Administration increased sewer hook-ups in the Water Quality Management Planning rules, which will have a major impact to open space and nearby reservoirs and streams throughout the state. This will especially impact the most environmentally sensitive areas of the Highlands and Pinelands that contain the water supply for millions of people.

“This stormwater rule codifies and will further Christie’s rollbacks. DEP still have not reversed rollbacks on the wetlands and stormwater rules from the Christie Administration but still allows for outfall structure called scours, causing more erosion. DEP’s new Stormwater Management rule does not replace the nonstructural point system and requires most of BMP. Most of BMPs only work 50% of the time in ultimate situations. They do not work in areas with steep slopes or high groundwater. The green infrastructure standards also only deal with total suspended solids, not other pollutants that come off of stormwater runoff like nitrogen or phosphorous,” said Tittel.

The Barnegat Bay is turning into New Jersey’s largest stormwater detention basin and its whole ecology is changing. DEP must control development and sprawl near the bay and prevent massive projects like development in Lakewood that will add more pollution to the Bay.

“This rule does not change the basic standard of the amount of water that can be adsorbed into the ground or clean up of non-point pollution. It still has the same standards that do not work in New Jersey in the last 40 years. New Jersey has serious water problems because of non point pollution. That is our largest source of pollution mostly because of runoff. We are seeing Barnegat Bay dying because of non point pollution and runoff. Dissolved oxygen levels are dropping due to high levels of nutrients from stormwater, resulting in algae blooms,” said Tittel.  “We have to address the stormwater management and nonpoint source pollution issues in the Bay otherwise we are going to turn the Barnegat Bay into the state’s largest stormwater detention basin as the Bay continues to die.”

An important way to improve our stormwater management is to reverse Christie’s rollbacks and put in place stronger protections. The DEP have to address the stormwater management and nonpoint source pollution issues.

“DEP is just taking the broken current system and adding some green amendments. This is really green cover for a rule that will cause more flooding and water pollution. The rule has a few positives but overall does nothing to change the status quo of pointless non-pollution.  It also does not deal or address storm impacts from pipelines or industrial compressor stations. The biggest source of pollution we face is nonpoint pollution and we need to retrofit our stormwater basins to protect our waterways, while revitalizing our waterfront neighborhoods and communities,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “DEP’s first rule is still a Christie rule that also has nothing to do with climate change, sea level rise, and will add just add more flooding.”

A public hearing on the proposal will be Tuesday January 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm at the Department of Environmental Protection, 1st floor Public Hearing Room, 401 East State Street Trenton, NJ 08625

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Apple Ridge Environmental Tragedy Continues

the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Upper Saddle River NJ, Derek Michalski reports again on the runoff from the Toll Brother site at Apple Ridge, “Dark and Stormy in USR today on this gloomy Friday December 28, 2018. We are experiencing heavy rain and another storm water violation on the part of Toll Brothers in Upper Saddle River. This time laden with arsenic and lead mud (sorry “colloidal clay” as NJDEP wants us to call this 12th month long pollution) is allowed to being discharged directly into our public drains. And not even one Toll Brothers employee or USR town zoning officer on the site paying attention to lack of silt barriers and even the cheepest hay barriers. Truly pathetic how this site is being overseen.

Continue reading Apple Ridge Environmental Tragedy Continues
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Destructive Runoff Continues From the Apple Ridge Site Continues One Year Later

the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Upper Saddle River NJ, for over a year we have covered the story of the devastating impact of the run off from the Toll Brothers site at Apple Ridge. To date nothing as been done to protect the environment of Bergen County , not one politician or DEP official has lifted a hand . So for the talk from the Murphy Administration on “Green” New Jersey, it is nothing but talk and a ruse for tax increases.

 Derek Michalski, from the group GreenUSR – (Upper & Saddle River, Ramapo and Pascack Valley Communities). Wrote yesterday :

“Most people and corporations in this beautiful country end every year on a positive note and with charitable giving activities. With God’s love in someone’s heart you can make a difference with giving. However Upper and Saddle River residents are experiencing another form of giving/receiving or should I rather say ”mud dumping” or “mud receiving“ into their backyards and local aquifer. Apparently Toll Brothers moved their makeshift pump deeper into the “arsenic field” so without the drone no one can see it. How pathetic this situation is when one of the largest construction company in America is allowed to permanently destroy local aquifer in one of the most affluent zip codes in America. Welcome to the land of apathy – zip code 07458. Passing year reminded us during those 12 months of ongoing mud pumping laden with arsenic and lead how close we are to the third world countries in the way behave sometimes. Also did I say Merry Christmas”

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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Honda-Civics-collide-Ridgewood-Police-Ridgewood-Fire-Deparrtment

file photo by Boyd Loving 

the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Upper Saddle River NJ, the Upper Saddle River Police remid us to drive carefully during the holidays. As Americans hit the road this holiday season to celebrate with family and friends, it’s important that we all drive safely—and safe driving means sober driving. That’s why The Upper Saddle River Police Department will be participating in the NHTSA annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday campaign (December 13-31) to raise public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drives home why it is so critical to always drive sober. Over the past 5 years, an average of 300 people died in drunk-driving crashes during the Christmas through New Year’s holiday period. In December 2016 alone, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes.

To support Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, NHTSA released a new advertisement called “No Big Deal,” which vividly illustrates the destruction caused by a drunk driver. This ad is accompanied by a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) web experience of a drunk driving crash scene, nhtsa.gov/crash, that allows the viewer to interact with first responders and understand how one selfish choice to drink and drive can affect others.

The “No Big Deal” VR experience also highlights another consequence of drinking and driving: getting arrested. Law enforcement around the country will be making a special effort during Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over to find and arrest drunk drivers. The average arrest, including attorney fees, fines, court costs, and other expenses, can set you back $10,000. About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.

Protect yourself and others this holiday season by always driving sober. For many, the holidays and holiday parties involve alcohol. Be honest with yourself about how you celebrate, and make a plan to get home without getting behind the wheel. Designate a driver, take public transportation, use a ridesharing service, or use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend to pick you up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play and Apple devices in the iTunes store.

This is the season of giving, so give yourself and all your neighbors the gift of safer roads by driving sober over the holidays. Carry that safer driving habit into the New Year by making a resolution to always drive sober. If we all do that, we will celebrate the holidays safely and ring in a better and safer 2018.

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17 North Crash Results in Non Life Threatening Injuries

photo courtesy of Boyd Loving’s Facebook page

the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Ramsey NJ, Six (6) victims of a Monday morning, 12/17, crash on Route 17 northbound near Spring Avenue in Ramsey were transported to area hospitals by ambulances. Ramsey Police, Ramsey Rescue, and Ramsey EMS responded to the incident along with mutual aid ambulances from Upper Saddle River and The Valley Health System. Two (2) wrecked vehicles were removed from the scene by flatbed tow trucks. One (1) travel lane of Route 17 northbound and the exit ramp to Spring Street from Route 17 northbound were closed while emergency crews worked. All injuries were reported to have been non life threatening in nature.

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Reader says , “The restoration of a house (maybe not even historical) which is a piece of junk is not merely a joke, it’s a crying shame”

Schedler Property in Ridgewood

The restoration of a house (maybe not even historical) which is a piece of junk is not merely a joke, it’s a crying shame. Have the voters in Ridgewood been offered any place to express their desire not to have this forced down their throat? It could even have been on yesterdays ballot but that might have revealed that barely anyone in Ridgewood wants this. Where is the proposed funding grant? Still lost in someone’s mind? What are we going to use it for? It’s not in “a desirable location” according to realtors about the surrounding development. West Saddle River Road is such a narrow street that it cannot be striped into 2 halves. Cars ARE going to park on the street. That will immobilize all traffic going there. How did this get authorized without the village having a say in the useless expenditure of even more money and lack of thoughtful preparation?

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CELEBRATING 20 YEARS, USR RACE COMMITTEE SAYS THANK YOU!

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ ,  The Upper Saddle River 5K Run, a charity event which attracts over 2,000 participants, is celebrating 20 years replete with new challenges, prizes and a beautiful commemorative 1/4 zip long sleeved shirt.

Among the highlights:
20th Anniversary Double Decade Award: The first male and female across the finish line who breaks the all-time course records, 15:02 in 2014 and 16:50 in 2011 respectively, wins bragging rights and an awesome prize.

Continue reading CELEBRATING 20 YEARS, USR RACE COMMITTEE SAYS THANK YOU!