CARTERET — Mayor Dan Reiman has announced the settlement of a major environmental enforcement case that will stop trash and polluted water from entering Carteret’s streets and waterways.
The settlement resulted from the borough’s 2011 filing of a complaint in New Jersey Superior Court under the state’s Environmental Rights Act and other laws. The suit sought to compel cleanup of a 23-acre automobile impoundment lot at 700 Federal Boulevard in Carteret. The lot is operated by Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. and owned by New Carsun Hills LP. The complaint alleged a series of violations of New Jersey’s pollution laws at the property, including discharges of oil and hazardous substances in stormwater runoff.
“I am pleased that these two companies are stepping up to their responsibility to protect clean water and the health of the surrounding community,” Reiman said. “This should send a strong message that Carteret has zero tolerance for environmental polluters.”
Under the settlement, the defendants have agreed to implement $350,000 in site improvements including a stormwater quality improvement plan, which includes both new stormwater control infrastructure and operational changes at the facility, to eliminate polluted runoff. The settlement also requires ongoing debris removal at the facility, and increases the setback and landscaping buffer between the facility and its frontage on Federal Boulevard. Finally, the settlement requires payments totaling $150,000 to cover the borough’s enforcement costs, damages, and attorney’s fees.
The settlement is the latest milestone in Reiman’s program to accelerate the cleanup and redevelopment of former industrial sites, and to ensure that all of the borough’s businesses comply with the environmental standards and protections. An earlier action forced the shutdown and cleanup of a sham recycling operation on Roosevelt Boulevard, which had for years been in violation of its NJDEP permit.
Other actions have accelerated cleanup of parcels adjacent to the borough’s waterfront park. Bradley M. Campbell, a nationally recognized environmental law expert and a former Commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), leads the law enforcement element of the program. Campbell has been the borough’s special counsel since 2007.
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