BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ Tuesday night's agenda for the upcoming Bernards Township Committee meeting includes consideration of a report from a licensed site remediation professional proclaiming that the environmental cleanup of the Millington Quarry -- where neighbors and officials have long asserted that contaminated soil was trucked in from throughout the New York area -- is complete.
Correspondence from environmental consultant states that the remediation of contamination is in "my professional opinion...been completed in compliance with the [state] Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites...that is protective of public health, safety, and the environment."
The Dec. 13 letter from Joseph Sorge, environmental consultant, is addressed to Gary Mahan, owner of the quarry property off Stonehouse Road, with copies sent to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Bernards Township Committee and other Bernards Township officials.
The letter specifies that Sorge was offering "no opinions" whether the adequate restoration of the property has been completed.
The future of the 180-acre property -- where mining has ceased -- has been the subject of years of discussion, with the original proposals suggesting development of part of the property with two acre residential lots. A 50-acre lake in the deepest quarrying pit has been envisioned, and a full-scale residential and commercial project was drawn up in 2017, only to be rejected by the Bernards Township Committee following public protest against the plan.
Such topics as possible detours and/or a road closure will be among the aspects of the project to be addressed, Township Engineer Tom Timko said at last week's special Township Committee meeting.
Members of a study team for the project will be available at the information session to answer questions, according to officials. The public is encouraged to attend.
A return to individual-lot developments, or possibly even preservation as open space, are some of the ideas that have been recently discussed as the final fate for the quarry land, which is privately owned.
The DEP might audit the outcome of the remediation conclusion for up to three years, the letter states.
Prior to the Township Committee -- and during the meeting -- officials will be discussing plans for a pending reconstruction of the Valley Road bridge leading to Long Hill Township.
Such topics as possible detours and/or a road closure will be among the aspects of the project to be addressed. Members of a study team for the Somerset County project will be available at the information session to answer questions, according to officials. The public is encouraged to attend.
New task force creations
Other items on the agenda include the creation of two new communications and affordable housing task forces.
This year's mayor, Carol Bianchi, had announced her intention to create the task forces to obtain input from both the public and professionals on key topics in the township.