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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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Reader asks ,”why doesn’t the Assemblywoman care about cleaning up our environment? : and we ask why doesn’t New Jersey ?

photo courtesy of Derek Michalski‎

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood Nj, a reader made some strong point promoting what they claimed was “protecting the environment “

“So the problem of carrying food home is a false argument: someone goes to the store and carries their own bags, which are empty, they carry the bags home, full. Whether or not they carry their own bags to the store has NO bearing on what they are carrying home! They are carrying the same weight home whether or not they carry their own bags into the store.

Continue reading Reader asks ,”why doesn’t the Assemblywoman care about cleaning up our environment? : and we ask why doesn’t New Jersey ?
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NJDEP Delays Expanded C1 Stream Protections

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, The DEP continues to delay adoption of new rules upgrading 749 miles of waterways to Category One streams. They have extended the public comment period another month to June 3, providing more time for opponents to organize their fight against the proposal. The C1 designation offers the highest level of protection for water quality.

Continue reading NJDEP Delays Expanded C1 Stream Protections
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Blue Laws violated again by Toll Brothers in Bergen County

Pictured: Goose laying eggs on Palm Sunday in the middle of USR pond filled over the weekend by Toll Brothers with heavy construction mud.

by Derek Michalski

Upper Saddle River NJ, Blue Laws violated again by Toll Brothers in Bergen County. Why Toll Brother have no respect for our environment is obviously clear to anyone who followed the story of Apple Ridge a/k/a Preserve? But why Toll Brothers brakes social norm, respect for our believes and our religion is beyond comprehension. Perhaps if Satanism was allowed on the premises of Toll Brothers Bergen Sheriff and Jim Tedesco would act but because Blue Laws are broken almost every other Sunday nobody gives a damn…………..very sad state of Bergen County we are entering, very sad indeed.

Continue reading Blue Laws violated again by Toll Brothers in Bergen County
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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.

Continue reading Wednesdays Strong Winds Whips Up Dust Storm At Apple Ridge
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The First Lady of NJ Should Spend Less Time on Social Media and More Time Focusing on Local Environment Catastrophes

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Upper Saddle River NJ, New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection are launching #GoGreenNJ, a social media campaign to promote simple tips that New Jerseyans can do at home to help protect the environment and reduce the impacts of climate change.

With a combined 120,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook between the First Lady and the DEP, the campaign’s messages are likely to go a long way in encouraging New Jerseyans to think differently about environmental protection.

Perhaps if you really want to clean up New Jersey you can start here in Bergen County , 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.

http://theridgewoodblog.net/destructive-runoff-continues-from-the-apple-ridge-site-continues-one-year-later/


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“Rain Tax” ,how about going after wrongdoers ?

photo by Derek Michalski

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Derek Michalski of GreenUSR : Here is my official statement to the press after yesterday’s visit from reporters from NJ media and Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel. Thank you Jeff for driving all the way from South Jersey to see how stormwater carnage looks in real life. Now it’s time for Governor Murphy to take a drive to Saddle River Valley and see for himself how irrational is the idea of imposing “Rain Tax” a/k/a “Storm Water Pollution Tax” on ALL of commercial property owners instead going after wrongdoers like Toll Brothers that let construction mud allegedly containing lead and arsenic directly into public storm drains and my Pleasant Brook (main feature of GreenUSR). In addition Assemblywoman Lisa Swain, Holly Schepisi and County Executive Jim Tedesco have been shown the evidence below dozens of times so I don’t think there is a person left in New Jersey who haven’t see how Toll Brothers dewaters its construction sites.

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Toll Brothers Runoff Alleged to Have Contaminated Drinking Water in Saddle River Valley

the staff of the Ridgewood blog


Upper Saddle River NJ, PLEASANT BROOK made the news again today. Scott Fallon from The Record published photo of Pleasant Brook taken by GreenUSR community volunteer Derek Michalski. Pleasant Brook is under constant assault by giant construction company Toll Brothers that decided to dewater 100 plus acres of construction desert in the middle of the town by pumping dirty muddy water called “colloidal clay” directly into the brook that divides 19 Meadowbrook Rd and 1 Lake Street in Upper Saddle River. These two mega construction projects are being developed by Toll Brothers. Between those two sites 150 acres of land will be dewater over the course of next 2-5 years. According to renowned environmental lawyer and ground water pollution expert from Boston, Matt Pawa who visited the area last month approximately 200 families in the corridor of Pleasant Brook are at potential health risk.

Continue reading Toll Brothers Runoff Alleged to Have Contaminated Drinking Water in Saddle River Valley
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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.