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Marl Road Cleanup - UPDATES

Howell OEM - 15 Marl Rd 
The Above Link is to the Howell Township OEM site dedicated to the Marl Rd cleanup, continual updates posted on this site as well.  These updates will be more timely as Howell is the lead in the cleanup as this is a Howell property.

From the 3/26 Post below & Email...
I urge all to sign up for notifications at the following OEM call systems as well as ours, click the locations to bring you to the signup areas. Howell and the County's Register Ready for those that have special situations/requirements who will need additional help in the event an evacuation is necessary in ANY situation. We have the tools in place to communicate, without the proper contact information it's useless, that part is on the resident to help us do our jobs. Sign up with Notify Me on the Farmingdale Borough website popup(unblock Pop-Ups if you don't see it), and please add your phone contact as well. Please feel free to share this with the community, your neighbors, friends & family in Farmingdale, get the word out!


04/24/23 - MAYOR'S UPDATES
Nothing new to report, EPA is working through things, and its moving along as planned, if not better than planned. The air monitors are out every day during working hours to make sure all is safe. HOWEVER... Our wonderful New York news outlets are sensationalizing things all of a sudden(what else is new), it must be a slow news day! Reporting on "emergency evacuation" plans rolled out as if it were new news! Ya can't make this $h!t Up!
The same evacuation plans which were rolled out weeks ago(March 3rd. I believe) are in place, and will be an ongoing commitment to safety for the Borough of Farmingdale residents! This situation has pointed out the potential possibilities of a necessity for an emergency evacuation plan as there was never anything in place, it's never been a topic of discussion. I have been getting emails all weekend, because of these very late reports, making people think that it new info, not so!
I assure you, IF there was a situation where evacuation was necessary, it would come from the Howell OEM, the Monmouth County OEM and the NJ State Police OEM offices, you would have known. DON'T LISTEN TO THE TALKING HEADS ON THE BOOB TUBE!!!!

04/10/23 - MAYOR'S UPDATES
EPA will be deploying air quality monitoring equipment in the next couple of days. The testing and removal process will begin early this week.

Below is from Michael Mannino of EPA....
"Wanted to alert everybody as to what’s going on.  Jim, can you let Farmingdale know we'll be setting up an air monitoring station in the right away by the school on the corner of Southard and Walnut. Please let the NJSP know that if they get a call about a weird looking box on a tripod, it's our gear."
Pic of the equipment...
epa air monitoring equipment

Update below from Howell OEM Victor Cook,
Good morning,
I met with Mike Mannino this morning at Compounders.
He has placed two air monitoring systems outside of the complex. I have attached a picture of these devices.
He is also placing two multi-rae devices offsite as well. The first will be at Walnut and Southard, the second will be on the Southwest corner of Preventorium and Squankum Yellowbrook, outside of Howell High. These will be located on a telephone pole on the right of way.
Work is scheduled to begin tomorrow with the contractor beginning to sample the chemicals. I will keep you updated as I get it.
Workers will begin work on the site on Tuesday April 11, 2023. The hours of operation will be 7:30am until 5:30pm. Monday-Friday. Some Saturday work might be done.
Continual Updates posted on the Howell Township website, click link to view -
Howell OEM - 15 Marl Rd


04/05/23 - UPDATES - MEETING NOTES, Jim Daly posted on the "Farmingdale" Facebook page 4/6 and here on 4/7 with corrections

Couple takeaways from last nights meeting; Please note, these are from knowledge & memory, I am sure there is more that I missed, anything in red is a correction or addition from the Facebook post.
Link to Power Point Presentation - EPA - Howell OEM, updated info added to the original from Howell Meeting of 3/21/23

The TEAM commitment was there from everyone to resolve this, Howell and Farmingdale governing bodies OEM and Howell Administration, Monmouth County Commissioners(Sue Kiely in attendance) and Health Dept(Christopher Merkel in attendance), DEP and especially EPA, thank you Mike Mannino, Shawna Hoppe and Shereen Kandil! We also had staff from Assemblyman Ned Thompson's Office as well as Congressman Chris Smith's office to report back whats going on.
- To start, the borough system for remote access still has bugs(as does the operator of it, me) sorry for the initial issues with sound it was because visitors were not muted and I could not mute them individually or mute the room. 

- the delay in EPA’s start was due to federal regulations which allow for the property owner to retain cleanup services deemed appropriate and overseen by EPA, which took 7 weeks of negotiation and ultimately legal actions by the EPA legal staff to retain the access and opportunity/responsibility. 

- EPA has been given full access and the approvals to take over the removal and cleanup, which has begun. Within a matter of hours of receiving this approval, they met on site with their remediation contractor which was 4/5 and cleanup activity is to begin early part of the week of 4/10

- 4/5 about 4pm the DEP relinquished soil remediation to EPA, so EPA will be handling removal and full remediation. 

- criminal charges have been and continue to be pursued against the owners and bad actors involved, being issued by DEP and EPA

- continual testing of air quality will be done, initially done with personal devices and progressing to larger devices placed strategically within close proximity which will be monitored during the removal/remediation actions. 

- Farmingdale city water has tested as safe as illustrated in the yearly CCR for drinking, based on the continual yearly DEP testing regulations

- the aquifer water rights we deliver to our customers is considered safe based on the hundreds of feet of two geological layers and an additional aquifer between them would have to be breached to reach the approx 300-400’ our water is pulled from. 

- there will be EPA hired remediation contractors on site in full PPE including air packs, so don’t be concerned when you see that, it’s alarming but safe practices and procedure. 

- initial actions include separating the known solids(initial evaluation to be asphalt based) from the unknown chemicals, upon preliminary inspection they are estimating there to be very high amounts of this, which lowers concerns even more and expedites removal processes. But only upon full inspection will they be sure. 

- they will be moving materials into the building on site that are more easily defined as safe and safe to move so they can focus on the unknown, in order to potentially expedite the removal process. 

- people on well water should be doing their yearly testing as required. 

- Monmouth county health commission informed residents of free and low cost services to those that don’t have health insurance and have any concerns making them feel they need to visit a doctor. 

On behalf of DEP, the representatives who will field public questions are as follows:
Jeff Hoffman, NJ State Geologist, New Jersey Geological & Water Survey
Ann Wolf Assistant Director, Enforcement and Information Support Element, Contaminated Site Remediation & Redevelopment Program
Bob Van Fossen, Director, Emergency Management
Kimberly Cahall, Chief Enforcement Officer
Office of Enforcement Policy

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
401 East State Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08625



04/04/23 - UPDATES

15 Marl Rd., Howell
Town Hall UPDATE meeting
Wednesday, April 5 ⋅ Starts at 6:00pm
 

BY JOINING THIS MEETING EITHER BY PHONE OR DEVICE YOU ARE CONCENTING TO BEING RECORDED,
THIS MEETING WILL BE RECORDED IN IT'S ENTIRETY.
You will be able to see and hear the meeting however there will be no way to communicate with the meeting room remotely

 

04/02/23 - UPDATES
2023 CCR Report Received for FY 2022
The Consumer Confidence Report for water quality is posted on the borough website. In Speaking to the Superintendent of the Farmingdale Water and Sewer Utility,  he confirmed, based on the reported testing results, that our numbers fall well below any kind of limits for concern for State Mandated and Regulated water testing requirements. 

According to DEP guidelines for safe drinking water, our water is safe for drinking as it has been for past years. We send scheduled samples out to independent testing facilities which is reported to the state. When reviewed, the report is created using these numbers in our yearly reports. 
I think it is appropriate to also mention that this sampling for testing is based on the Englishtown Aquifer which we pull our water from. Our well is 100's of feet down and is regularity tested as required by the DEP and reported each year in our CCR.

Private wells are the responsibility of the owner/operator who applied for the DEP permits to own and operate them, and they should be testing them on their own. These typically don't reach into the layers municipalities pull from as the depth is so far down it is cost prohibitive for the property owner. So if you don't purchase water from a utility, you should have been testing you water independently.

We offer a list of professional and certified testing facilities with contact information should you want to have your water tested privately.  These are listed on the borough site at the same link just above our Annual Water Quality Reports area.
3/30/2023 - UPDATES
15 Marl Rd., Howell NJ - Community Outreach
CONFIRMED - for Wednesday April 5th, 6PM
Farmingdale Borough Community Center

Below is a link to a letter being sent out by Howell Township to all properties within the 1 Mile radius of the Compounders Property located in Howell NJ, the letter is available on the Farmingdale Borough Web Site Click This link


3/26/2023 - UPDATES
EPA has tentatively confirmed a Community Outreach meeting with the Governing body, DEP & Mon. Cty. Health Department, to be held at the Farmingdale Community Center, April 4th 6pm.

3/26/2023 - UPDATES
Letter from the Mayor of Farmingdale to the residents...
As we navigate this situation alongside Howell Township and the EPA, DEP, and Monmouth County Health Department, I am requesting that ALL Farmingdale residents please have patience. Remember, I live here as well with my wife and 4 children, and closer than many. If there was ANY evidence of immediate concern, the residents would have already been notified by all means available. I understand and agree, it's not moving fast enough! I have been involved in no less than 15 meetings/discussions with various groups involved in this situation over the past 7 weeks, not to mention untold email voice and text conversations. The leaders of both towns and the EPA are very involved and working to resolve this issue as quickly in the safest appropriate manner for the communities involved.

Everyone has been as forthcoming as possible with factual information, which was evident at the Town Hall meeting in Howell. The meeting started at 5:30 with EPA & DEP members, Howell Council people, and Administration and myself to go over the recent movements and updates prior to the 6pm public meeting. The Town Hall was scheduled for 1 hour because both towns had scheduled council meetings the same night. Unfortunately, I had to leave at 7:02(arriving late to my municipal meeting, not town hall) to handle business for the Borough.

I am equally as frustrated as to how slow this is progressing, the conversations I have had with the EPA expressed the same feelings of frustration. We can all agree it can never be quick enough! There is a process that must be followed regulated by federal and state law, prior to the actual process of the clean up and I respect and trust the leads at the EPA to do whats in the best interest of our residents, The speed at which they are allowed by law to act, that fight belongs at the state and federal levels.

To clear up misinformation which I have seen posted on various social media platforms, I want to address a few things and offer additional available information.

There is a very low concern of need for evacuation due to this incident. There is 24hr armed security on site since being alerted on Feb 8th, ensuring there could/will be no more intentional burning of materials in an attempt to dispose of it. There were also officials on site with air quality monitors checking if there were any airborne concerns, of which they found none, additional monitoring has occurred since with the same findings. There will be additional strategically located air quality testers going forward before they begin removing the materials on site.

We are well past the point of who's going to help. The EPA took the reigns very early on and are willing to do whatever they can to put minds at ease that its being handled properly and will not leave until all concerns are remediated. Keep in mind, the unfortunate part is that this has been going on for over 20 years on this site. The ground exposure hasn't even been quantified as of yet, because the immediate need is to contain the existing above ground materials to stop additional contamination. The DEP has confirmed to the Farmingdale Superintendent of Water and Sewer in an email dated 3/21/23,  "although we had the closest wells to the Compounders, INC. site, our wells were the least of his concerns, stating any possible contamination would have to travel through two geological layers and another aquafer to reach the aquafer our wells are in."  According to the DEP there is confirmation that there are no concerns of drinking water contamination. Our required water quality testing would have obviously raised any potential concerns over the years if there were any.

As for communication to the residents, we have had communication options in place for years.  We have requested input from the residents for many years now. However without your help, we have no way of contacting the residents. I ask that every resident visit the borough web site for continual updates. At the very least please visit once to sign up for the communication notification systems in place, emails and phone/text messages.  This is the APPROVED method of communication the Borough of Farmingdale uses for communication. Only municipal leaders can access it so there can't be misinformation posted to it like social media, but only if you help us make it work. I also request that you not only add your email address, but also a phone number we can add to our OneCall system, alongside the Farmingdale School OneCall system which we intend to incorporate if the need should ever arise. We are also requesting cell number for text updates to use in conjunction the phone calls and email blasts. I also need those who have signed up in the past, please revisit it to make sure we have your current information. I had been putting this info out in mailed communications over the years, and have only 590 registered signups to date. Many of which without phones and addresses, including fake names and addresses. This does not help communicate with the residents. Please, go to
Farmingdale www.farmingdaleborough.org, and if asked allow pop-ups, the notify me is a popup that will be on the middle of your computer screen. If you are having issues registering this way, you can use the "citizen request" button or call the office, Liz or Corinne will be glad to take down your name, number, address, cell and land lines(if you still have one) and we will enter you into the registry.

I urge all to sign up for notifications at the following OEM call systems as well as ours, click the locations to bring you to the signup areas.
Howell and the County's Register Ready for those that have special situations/requirements who will need additional help in the event an evacuation is necessary in ANY situation. We have the tools in place to communicate,  without the proper contact information it's useless, that part is on the resident to help us do our jobs. Please feel free to share this with the community, your neighbors, friends & family in Farmingdale, get the word out!

We are planning another town hall meeting on this topic, for those that may have missed the first one. I was in touch with the EPA lead agent, Michael Mannino and the Howell Twp leaders immediately following the first one, requesting a second meeting in Farmingdale. We have scheduled April 4th at 6pm for the Farmingdale outreach. Confirmation of this date will be confirmed on the Borough Web Site. We have invited Howell as well and we will have a remote Google Meets link to view the meeting for those that can't attend in person. Which will be recorded and posted when ready on the Borough Web Site.
Any changes to this date will be noticed on the Boro Web site Follow this link to Marl Road UPDATES.

Believe me, this is on the forefront of my day, each and every day, since the issue was brought to light. From being invited on site by Victor the head of the Howell-Farmingdale OEM the day the County, State, Federal and local officials were there discussing the situation with the property owner. However we have to allow Howell Township alongside the EPA, the DEP and the County Health Department to lead this cleanup and make sure things are done legally, safely and to completion this time. 


More info to come when available,
Jim Daly
Mayor, Farmingdale
God Bless America and Farmingdale

3/3 Update
This is the latest information the Township received regarding the Compounder’s Inc. site at 15 Marl Road. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overseeing the site and will be on the property for the next several weeks. The site has 24 hour security and despite some workers wearing protective equipment and clothing, this does not mean there is a risk to the public or surrounding residents. If you have any questions the fact sheet includes the contact information for the EPA who is currently overseeing the site operations.

This morning, various federal and state agencies, including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, were on site at 15 Marl Road and are conducting an investigation. They will remain on site for the next 1-2 days. We have been informed that representatives of the agencies may visit houses in the area to speak with owners in an effort to learn about what was happening on site. We are in contact with the agencies, and will update the Township as soon as we have more information.

Visit  Howell Township Web Site - News for additional information and updates. 

We have received several inquiries about activity occurring at 15 Marl Road in Howell.
Click on article title above to get more information from Howell.
Click this link to open the EPA additional information.  
Click here for information regarding Evacuation Routes