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There's finally been some progress after months of U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer pleading for the Department of Environmental Protection to take action in regards to the suspected Vernon dump site.
Back in October the state said they wouldn't get involved and declared that it was the town's problem but on Monday, December 3 Commissioner Catherine McCabe visited Joseph Wallace's property on Silver Spruce Drive. She was joined by Gottheimer, Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway, Sen. Steve Oroho and Assembly members Parker Space and Hal Wirths.
While the visit shows Gottheimer's pleas aren't falling on deaf ears, McCabe told officials that they'll only consider testing for contamination in the soil if there's probable cause.
An October video by the New Jersey Herald shows concrete, rebar, and bricks among the soil on the property and local residents have raised concerns about contamination. An independent lab test of groundwater that a neighbor thinks is seeping from the dump site reportedly tested positive for high levels of lead.
Instead of doing their own tests on the soil, the DEP took issue with how the independent testing was done and suggested that the water tested isn't from Wallace's property but from natural upwelling of water on the neighbor's property.
Read the NJHerald.com story here.