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NJ Department of Environmental Protection: The Berm Soil at Schedler is Not Consistent with NJDEP Guidance

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood N J, the Village of Ridgewood is hosting a public workshop tomorrow (Wed) at 7:30 pm at Village Hall, with hybrid access available. Please consider attending in person or joining remotely.
Two notable Schedler items on the agenda for Wednesday:

  1. Ridgewood Newcomers – Use of Zabriskie Schedler House (this will be a presentation on potential future use of the house impacting our neighborhood)
  2. Award Contract – Soil Investigation – Berm at Schedler Property (2016-2021). See here.

Regarding point #2, this is about the big mound of dirt running the length of the Schedler site next to Route 17 North built between December 2018 and October 7, 2019. The details about the “free soil” at Schedler are a bit unclear with the majority of soil testing reports made after the soil was already dumped. You can review these docs, dates, and Village emails on OPRA Machine (link). 

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Solid Waste Compliance and Enforcement’s recent evaluation of the sampling and analyses of the soil at Schedler is not consistent with NJDEP GuidanceAdditional sampling and analyses is warranted to address the data gaps. NJDEP’s recommendation for additional investigation of the soil at Schedler is not based on an assumption of an immediate threat to human health or the environment, but gathering more data will help the State agency in determining the appropriate next steps.

Residents must persist in advocating for studies assessing the impact of pollution, environment, noise, flooding, and traffic from Schedler’s proposed artificial turf sports complex on our neighborhood and park visitors, as our requests for these studies have been consistently ignored by the majority Village Council.

Thank you for your attention to this important community issue. Please participate tomorrow.

– Schedler Friends HYBRID ACCESS Agenda:

Please click the link below to join the virtual meeting:

Webinar ID: 825 9279 9142 Passcode: 07450 or Telephone, Dial:  1-646-558-8656, 1-646-931-3860, 1-309-205-3325, or 1-312-626-6799


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46 thoughts on “NJ Department of Environmental Protection: The Berm Soil at Schedler is Not Consistent with NJDEP Guidance

  1. Did we tell you this shit is going to the fan in 2024. That soil should be removed. Just remember the locations of that soil where it came from.

  2. I think what’s important here is who authorized this soil to be transported here, came from many different locations. It was all the soil tested before it was moved. and someone thought that we could build a burn on route 17 and it was going to go unnoticed. Yeah hello. Time for big soil testing!

    1. It’s a Berm not Burn

  3. Hilarious…the hits keep coming.

  4. The free dirt was trucked in by everyone and anyone and from several locations that are highly suspect to contain toxic and hazardous chemicals. Every step in this process should be investigated under a large microscope. Did anyone from the village benefit, did anyone have family members involved in dumping soil? Residents should notified. Who authorized the soil dumping, who authorized Downes to cut down the trees and was there an RFP for this work or was it just done with a handshake. All of the work on the berm was also done without prior approval from the State of NJ and as the property is listed on the historic register, prior approval of any ground disturbance would have been required. Rulebreakers and bad deed doers of Village Hall should be held accountable if this soil is toxic!!!

    1. And now they are after Habernickel. Whatch out people. Keep your ears and eyes open

    2. Jail!

  5. Odd. The Village Manager posts about everything else, why not this VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE? #healthrisk #keithkazmark

    1. Pee Wee told him not too!

    2. This is the gang that couldn’t straight. A bunch curmudgeonly hacks.

    3. He was Paul Vagiano’s campaign manager. His appointment seems to be rigged like all other state level positions being given away by our govornor to county dem heads to support his wife. These are all corrupt NJ democrats.

    4. Because they have something to hide. They knew about this in December. Mayor went around talking sh** about everything being hunky forey. LIES! Now they are under the gun of NJDEP

      1. Hunky Dorey

  6. It is amazing how much debris blow of rt’17. On to that land.

    1. Yeah and they want the kiddies to play over there as ot is good for their health and well being!!!

  7. Downs tree service, I wouldn’t use them to do any work around my house. Too expensive, and another political hack. Yes, he has great equipment. We will give them that. To my back office deals going on with that company.

    1. Facts only.

      Suggesting a “ back office deal “ while referring to possibly contaminated soil is a strong accusation. If not true defamation charge can be made

      1. They didn’t say Downes had anything to do with the contaminated soil, they were saying why is Downes always the one who seemingly gets all of the contracts for Ridgewood when there should be a bidding process through an RFP. The contaminated soil came from many people in town who were asked to truck in in and it was free but from locations where there is a concern around toxic chemicals that will now be investigated formally.

        1. Even though I remain a supporter of Susan, I never stomached what she did with the RW parking lot and the preference and support she gave to Downes every single time. among other things. But compared to this VC, Susan is way better.
          Downes must have made millions through town work and God knows what rates they have been paid. Disgusting.

  8. Here we go people remember, the one that works in the cemetery, he told you he knows where the skeletons are, and who put them there. They should have never mess with the caretaker. supposedly that individual has all info going back a long time.

  9. Downes has such a strong grip in this town. They are like the most favorite vendor for every VC. These guys know how to grease the wheel.

  10. The next Superfund site in Bergen County!

  11. I’m betting 20 bucks that NJDEP comes in makes them remove every single lick of soil at that site remediate it and do it over again. A five year process.

    1. Either do it correctly or not at all. Period.

  12. Wasn’t this Susan Knudsen’s idea to get free soil?

  13. The “free soil” idea was proposed and orchestrated by Chris Ruthishaiser, Village of Ridgewood Engineer.

  14. Why would anyone let their child play on that field? If it’s “for the kids” use the Schedler money to repair and expand existing fields that aren’t on a major highway filled will contaminates.

  15. Keith Kazmark, why wasn’t this disclosed to the public?

    1. The best quote last night was Bob Furman who complimented the Mayor on his last week’s speech “2024 State of the Village”where the Mayor talked about transparacy and as Bob put it sets this council apart from any other council since the 1980s. “Transparency is just a word people use. Communication puts transparency into action by actually getting people the information they need. This past year we began a process of getting information to our residents that has never been done before. So the only reason Ridgewood residents now are aware of a December 11th request from NJDEP to obtain a soil expert to dig into (no pun) possibly contaminated soil is that they needed to hire a vendor, otherwise, like everything else that is cherry picked, we would once again be in the dark as per usual. Thanks, Bob for pointing out that there is no transapency and communication is only effective if used correctly.

      1. Bob is ywt another Vagianos puppet. His wife was just appointed to the Historic Preservation Committee as a new appointee which was mentioned at a recent VC workshop meeting.

  16. What does “ not consistent with NJDEP Guidance” mean? They are not saying contaminated.

    1. Not consistent signals to me that there is a problem. They will find out if it is contaminated and hopefully this is a full-scale investigation that is done with a fine tooth comb, where did the soil come from, who trucked it in? Let’s get copies of all of the correspondence about it to and from anyone in the village at the time.

    2. “Not consistent” means they forgot to bribe the right people and the NJ DEP because the NJ DEP can make up some B-S on anything they want to.

      1. So can Ridgewood, with a slippery dickery mayor who is grwading palms all over the Harden State, anything is in the realm of possibility. Stay tuned to a theater near you

  17. Anyone with information please Call the DEP Hotline
    1-877- WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337)

    You can report anonymously.

  18. The BS was flying fast and furious on the council meeting tonight. Wow.

  19. Per should be completely removed. Who the F engineered that. It looks like shit some sort of ball to put that right alongside 17 like that build a wall.

  20. Interesting that Paulie wasn’t there. Whenever he misses a meeting he always pretends that he knows nothing about it because he wasn’t there. He is also complicit in this.

  21. Hey, you can’t blame this crew, they got a blame every one hours and involved three years ago or so.

  22. This is un-effing-believable. While it is not the fault of this council that contaminated soil was put there, it is absolutely the fault of this council that no one was informed in the public for several weeks. They have known since mid December, and they let it be known to everybody else at the end of January. I am outraged by this cover-up. I don’t ever want to hear our stupid Mayer use the word transparency ever again. This is a dirty secret that they have shrouded in secrecy. What a disgusting bunch.

    1. On top of that, the NJDEP mandated that the village have a plan within 60 days of the letter to Keith and Chris R. The letter was received on December 11th so 60 business days from that date. At the meeting, the council was asking for almost $40k to test the soil, nothing to do with fixing it, just testing it. Should be interesting to see how much it will cost altogether if they have to ditch it and get clean soil. Once people got wind of free dirt, everyone and their brother showed up to dump, both day and night, so Lord only knows what is in that soil! Thank you NJDEP!!

      1. Sampling and analysis of the soil has to be completed within the 60 days. Ridgewood won’t even get the money until the budget is approved, right?

  23. While we wait for the test results, Paul can continue to shovel his BS as per usual. His lack of communicative “transparency” per is 2024 address to the village, all the while knowing about this soil disaster is unbelievable. The fact that he continues to hold his head up high takes guts in light of what we are learning. Is this just the tip of the iceberg or is there more. He and his merry band of nitwits do nothing to instill trust of the residents he claims to care so much about. This amounts to a huge pile of doo doo, Paul, way bigger than that berm will ever be.

    1. He is duplicitous. This just proves it. In duplicitous, you can see the word duplicity, which means “doubleness.” Someone who is duplicitous is almost like two people, saying one thing but then doing something very different, even contradictory. Boom, there he is!

  24. Wait till you jokers find out the whole bloody town is built over an Indian burial ground! I saw Poltergeist and this doesn’t end well.

  25. I hope residents realize the serious nature of this mandate from the NJDEP. For them to require Ridgewood to perform these tests, they are obviously not convinced that the data originally provided holds water. The Village Manager tried to pass it off as nothing to be worried about, but I don’t agree with that. Previous municipality members let Engineering go rogue-Chris R and his sidekick, Jovan Mehandzic. They told everyone to bring the free dirt over to the Schedler property, by the truckloads which were dumped day and throughout the night with little or no oversight and likely presecriptive and thorough testing was not done correctly or fact checked. Therefore and as a result, they have to spend almost $39 thousand dollars to simply test it, which does not include what to do with it if they find contamination. This could potentially cost hundreds of thousands of dollars once the process has been completed and will likely further delay any proposed plan to create anything on that property, which includes the paving of West Saddle River Road.

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