Environmental lawsuit filed against the company Secaucus
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Acting Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Shawn LaTourette announced the filing of nine new environmental law enforcement measures in New Jersey, including seven to keep polluters responsible for contamination in environmentally overburdened communities.
Seven lawsuits, focused on overburdened communities, tackle pollution Secaucus, Kearny, Camden, Trenton, Edison, Bridgeton and Egg Harbor City. Two additional cases are based in Butler and Vineland.
Collectively, the complaints involve a wide range of alleged environmental violations by defendant landowners and other responsible parties. They include the illegal dumping which allowed massive amounts of contaminated soil, construction and demolition debris, as well as old contaminated tires and other garbage, to accumulate in neighboring residences; the release of gasoline and other toxic chemicals from underground storage tanks, contaminating soil and groundwater; and releases of chemical contaminants and food waste to storm sewers and ultimately to surface water bodies.
The contaminants involved in the lawsuits are linked to serious health problems, including respiratory distress and certain lung diseases, cancer, neurological disorders, kidney disease, liver disease and eye damage.
The nine complaints target a variety of remedies, including cleaning up contaminated properties, complying with DEP administrative orders and other pending DEP requirements, paying civil penalties, and reimbursing the state for costs. site investigation, reclamation, monitoring and other related work.
The state complaint against defendant Wilenta Feed, Inc., in Secaucus, alleges a violation of state water pollution control law.
Wilenta operates a food waste recycling business at 46 Henry Street in Secaucus. The business consists of converting food waste, mainly baked goods, into animal feed or feed ingredients.
According to the complaint, Wilenta was illegally storing its food waste in open-air piles. This exposes the waste to stormwater, which enters the sewer system and ultimately into surface water bodies such as Penhorn Creek, a tributary of the Hackensack River.
In addition to seeking a court order directing Wilenta to stop its open-air storage of food waste, the lawsuit seeks civil penalties against Wilenta and reimbursement to the state for costs it has incurred or will incur in investigating, inspect and monitor the property. .
In Hudson County’s other Kearny lawsuit, the state’s lawsuit against Isaac Moradi involves a restaurant, formerly a gas station, at 941 Passaic Avenue in Kearny that backs onto an embankment of the Passaic River. The site was contaminated with petroleum products, including gasoline while in use as a gas station, prior to Moradi’s acquisition of the property in 2016.
According to the state complaint, an investigation of the property in 2007 revealed significant groundwater and soil contamination, much of which was ultimately attributed to an out of service 12,000 gallon underground fuel storage tank.
The state lawsuit alleges violation of the Spill Compensation and Control Act and the common law of public nuisance. Moradi may not have owned the property when the land was polluted. But as the current owner, he is responsible for the cleaning.
Over 40 lawsuits filed
Including these lawsuits, Attorney General Grewal and the Department of Environmental Protection have filed 39 environmental justice cases since 2018, which have resulted in nearly $ 20 million in judgments. Many of these cases have also resulted in court orders requiring responsible parties to carry out clean-up activities to protect human health and the environment. These ordinances also save taxpayers money by holding polluters and other responsible parties financially accountable.
“From day one of the Murphy administration, we have been committed to ensuring that all New Jersey residents can enjoy clean air, clean drinking water and a safe environment,” said Grewal. “It’s environmental justice, and everyone deserves it. The cases we’re announcing today are just the latest steps we’ve taken to deliver on our commitment to environmental justice, and the latest reminder to polluters that they will be held accountable – that they illegally dump waste in our cities or pollute them. our fields and rivers.
“To advance the promise of environmental justice, we must aggressively enforce our laws in communities disproportionately burdened by pollution,” LaTourette said. “Law enforcement actions like these embody our commitment to protect vulnerable communities and clearly show the consequences of creating or contributing to environmental injustice. My DEP colleagues and I are grateful to Attorney General Grewal and his team for their passion for fairness and their partnership in action.
For updates on this story and more, check out www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at [email protected]