Port Authority Sued Over Contaminated School

CARTERET – Mediation began this week on a $6 million lawsuit that contends a riverfront improvement project contaminated Carteret’s Minue School.

The suit alleges that dredge material used to build wetlands at the Joseph Medwick County Park was improperly handled. The material allegedly caused dirt and dust tainted with lead, arsenic and other toxins to contaminate building, grounds and playground equipment at the school adjacent to the park.

While it appears that the 700 students at Minue School were not affected by the pollutants, the school district had to spend more than $1 million to clean it up. The suit is an attempt to recover the clean-up costs and $5 million in punitive damages from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, who ran the project.

“The Port Authority put our children in jeopardy, then, they turned their backs on us,” said Mayor Daniel Reiman. “We took care if it ourselves, but now we want our money back.”

Port Authority officials would not comment on the issue, citing an agency policy not to comment on pending litigation.

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