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“Clean Water Action” Goes Door to Door in Upper Saddle River

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, Upper Saddle River Police , issues and important message door-to-door solicitors/canvassing. The irony is not lost to the Ridgewood blog , that while its OK to collect money for “Clean Water Action” the Toll Brothers site at Apple Ridge continues to dump run off into local water ways and hardly a politician has raised a finger, despite environmental damage to Pleasant Brook and Saddle River. 

Continue reading “Clean Water Action” Goes Door to Door in Upper Saddle River
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Upper Saddle River Police Officer Arrested

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of Upper Saddle River Police Officer KYLE ZYSKOWSKI (DOB: 04/16/1985; married) of Ramsey, New Jersey. The arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Upper Saddle River Police Department under the direction of Chief Patrick Rotella.

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The Best Politicians Money Can Buy

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, over the last year the Ridgewood blog has reported on the run off from the Toll Brothers owned Apple Ridge site . We have run post after post and noticed at the end of the day no one , not even the NJDEP was willing to do anything about it what so ever .

Today we may have found out why . Going back over 3 decades starting with Jim “tax toilet paper” Florio ,Boswell Engineering the engineering firm on the Apple Ridge project has flooded New Jersey politicians with donation after donation. Greasing the wheels of the political process  or paying for protection Boswell Engineering has given generously to both side of the isle .

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Upper Saddle River Police Issue Crime Alert

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, on May 3rd the Upper Saddle River Police department issued an important  crime alert , warning residents of multiple car thefts off of East Saddle River Road ,where four vehicles were stolen , all by key fob left in the cars and one was one taken from a closed garage using a garage door opener left in an other car. A  residential burglary and an attempted burglary  were also reported , both occurred while residents were home.

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Reader Demands Action At Toll Brothers Site

This is an environmental debacle especially for a community of our size. I am worried about the future health and safety of all the homeowners living by this Toll Brothers construction project ,and I 100% agree that the EPA and FBI should continue to delve into this mess. As a long-time resident and taxpayer about to see my neighborhood go down the tubes, I demand immediate and positive action from Toll Brothers and our town’s leadership!

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Runoff From Toll Brother Site Destroys Easter Celebrations in Upper Saddle River

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, while New Jersey politicians plunder the state and spend their days contriving new schemes to raise your taxes, the NJ DEP is left ineffectual against polluters.

Derek Michalski of GreenUSR said,” Easter celebrations in GreenUSR has been ruined for the second year in a row!!! I never wished anyone to go to hell but if anybody deserve it it would be Chris Gaffney for his decision to allow its workers to pump heavy mud second year in a row during Holy Week. Shame on him, shame on Toll Brothers and Toll Brothers’ apologists. “

Posted by Derek Michalski on Sunday, April 21, 2019

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Wednesdays Strong Winds Whips Up Dust Storm At Apple Ridge

by Derek Michalski

Upper Saddle River NJ, Strong winds in Upper Saddle River and lack of dust control by Toll Brothers created another environmental violation: dust pollution. Plume of dust covered on Wednesday April 3, 2019 neighboring homes in the vicinity of Apple Ridge former golf course a/k/a “Preserve”. USRPD Police officer Hausch witnessed with me gusts of wind blowing construction dust into my car, his car and all over the neighborhood. At the scene I run also into USR Borough Director James Dougherty who stated that he was only the “middle man” and it wasn’t up to him but up to Boswell to supervise the situation. When I asked him why there were no dust control trucks on this 100 plus acres of desert (btw required by law) he just said “have a nice day” and left the construction scene.

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Gas Leak Reported in Upper Saddle River

photo and post by Derek Michalski

Upper Saddle River NJ, early this morning a mysterious gas leak kept some USR residents awake!

Is this newest Pleasant Avenue midnight excitement connected to another housing development? Hard to say at this time but all USR fire department units and many public utilities trucks scrambled last night to pinpoint the exact location of a gas leak at the corner of Lenape and Pleasant Avenue. Coincidentally painted signs on the street direct our attention at another development that is in direct competition with Toll Brothers newly constructed homes. Why? Just look at the starting prices of $1.249,000 . Seems Toll brothers has some serious competition to their Apple Ridge site.

The gas leak report originally came in at 12:30 am Saturday morning and the leak is still not found. Likely no one is hurt and dozen of firefighters and utility companies personnel is still searching for the leak.

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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.”

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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.