In order to address residents' concerns regarding water quality and to put to rest misinformation that appears to exist, South Orange Village officials today announced that they are organizing a town meeting with officials from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New Jersey Department of Health together with Village’s legal counsel.
At this meeting residents will be provided with the most up to date and accurate information regarding water quality and the actions that have been and are being taken to assure safe water is being provided to South Orange residents. A similar meeting was conducted in 2011, and the video of that meeting can be accessed by clicking here http://www.southorange.org/videoViewer.asp. The time and date for the upcoming meeting will be announced shortly.
In the interim residents should be assured that the Village has been actively engaged in addressing water quality issues by:
In early 2011, the Village retained a consulting firm in regards to advising the VIllage on potential litigation as well as alternate water sources.
In mid June 2011 the Village commenced a legal action against East Orange Water Commission (EOWC) in part to force the use of engineered systems to address the contamination in EOWC wells.
In June 2011, the Village also held a meeting with state health and environmental officials to address water quality concerns. Again, that video can be viewed here:http://www.southorange.org/videoViewer.asp
In December 2011 the Village caused the Court to appoint a Special Master to expedite a resolution of the case.
Throughout this period both DEP and the Village were each taking independent test samples to assure that the subject contaminants were within the limits permitted by DEP regulations. Test results are posted on the Village website at southorange.org
As a consequence of the litigation, EOWC has taken steps to install both short term and permanent engineered solutions to fully address the contamination issue, referred to as “air strippers.”
The litigation will continue until the Village is fully satisfied that all necessary actions have been taken, for long-term quality assurance. Until the above described meeting is held, it is strongly urged that residents not rely upon heresy regarding water quality issues, and view official notices and videos posted on the Village website, or reach out directly to the village’s administration. As was stated by officials at the previous informational meeting, samples taken since the earlier violations indicated that water quality was within regulatory limits, which has been confirmed by NJ DEP. Based upon the independent testing that was conducted, that quality has not changed. Finally residents should take comfort that New Jersey has the most stringent water quality standards in the nation, and the the violations that did place in 2011 were still within federal (and New York) safe drinking water standards.
The Village has been aggressively tackling this issue head-on, though due to the ongoing litigation not all information can be made public in real-time. Residents are reminded that if any cause for concern were to exist, all community members will be immediately notified via emergency channels of communication.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Village administration at 973 378 7715 x2 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.