Continued Delays in Pompton Plains Crossroad Dumping Trial

sunnyside up-SpiegeleiImage by alles-schlumpf via FlickrSince the mid-1990's, Topsoil Depot stockpiled kaofin clay (containing the hazardous waste chemical dioxin) at their site on Pompton Plains Crossroads in a business relationship with the Marcal tissue company, that much is not in dispute.

Late last decade, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection first notified, then began fining the owners of Topsoil Depot for keeping hazardous waste materials in an area prone to frequent flooding (and north of Pequannock Township one might observe).  Over time, Topsoil Depot wracked up literally millions of dollars in fines until the owners were imprisoned as this was apparently the only way to prevent them from continuing to stock hazardous waste at the site.

Since then, there have been numerous roadblocks in the ensuing legal battle.  On Tuesday November 15th, the attorney for the defense raised another such roadblock, insisting that it was not possible to properly defend his clients unless Marcal and other companies from which the hazardous waste was acquired were prosecuted as well.

Here's a quick list of articles providing background on this issue, something that seriously effects the residents of Pequannock Township as well as all residents downstream of the site:

  1. (October 17th 2010)
    http://www.northjersey.com/news/105156439_Court_orders_fail_to_move_mounds.html?page=all
  2. (March 15th 2011)
    http://www.northjersey.com/news/environment/031511_Top_Soil_fill_site_in_Wayne_ordered_back_to_court.html
  3. (May 12th 2011)
    http://www.northjersey.com/news/051211_State_alleges_another_violation_by_owners_of_tainted_Top_Soil_Depot_site_in_Wayne.html
  4. (May 18th 2011)
    http://www.northjersey.com/news/environment/Judge_orders_hearing_to_determine_if_Wayne_dump_site_owner_mentally_fit.html
  5. (May 26th 2011) http://www.northjersey.com/news/Judge_sets_deadline_for_final_Wayne_dumpsite_cleanup_plan.html
  6. (November 15th 2011)
    http://www.northjersey.com/topstories/wayne/Wayne_toxic_dump_hits_a_bump_in_the_road_toward_trial.html


The reader is left to draw their own conclusions, but it's surprising to see how much time it can take to stop a polluter when threat of financial or legal repercussions fail to motivate.


Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock EnvironmentalHistoric District, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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