RED BANK, NJ – On Saturday, August 10, 2019, the Red Bank Community Garden on Marion Street was closed to the public out of an abundance of caution resulting from concerns of lead contamination in the soil.
The Borough was alerted to these concerns late in the evening hours the day before on Friday, August 9, 2019 and acted quickly to advise community garden members that access to the garden was prohibited and that produce should not be harvested from the garden until further notice.
The possibility of soil contamination was raised by a resident of Marion Street who did independent testing without the advance knowledge or consent of the Borough of Red Bank.
While the Borough cannot rely upon the third-party data to conclusively determine if there is in fact lead contamination and if so, the scope or severity of the contamination, the Borough erred on the side of safety to advise the public and restrict access until official testing can be performed.
A meeting was held Monday morning, August 12, 2019 with various Borough officials to review the information received over the weekend and discuss a plan of action for testing.
The Borough Engineer will order an expedited test for soil and produce samples and results are expected within 2 weeks. Until the results are received, access to the garden will be restricted and the public is advised not to consume produce harvested from the garden.
Produce harvested from the garden should be discarded.
Any member of the public who consumed produce from the garden should consult with their physician about the potential for lead exposure from produce and inquire about the necessity of a blood lead test.
Additionally, Borough of Red Bank officials have been in contact with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The Borough of Red Bank is taking this matter very seriously and will provide the public with additional information as soon as possible.
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