On June 6 roughly eighty people attended the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Public Hearing* in Manalapan on its recently revised Wastewater Management Plan proposal for Monmouth County. Twenty-two people spoke, most of whom came from Holmdel to voice their opposition to various aspects of this DEP proposal. Six more people had signed up to speak, but were not permitted to do so because this Hearing’s available time interval was exhausted.
Holmdel Mayor Patrick Impreveduto together with Holmdel’s Township Engineer and Attorney detailed Holmdel’s official opposition to DEP’s recent Sewer Service Area revisions to allow sewers in the entire Bell Labs/Lucent and Arts Center tracts, contradicting Holmdel’s long-standing requirement that sewer service in those tracts be confined to the footprints of their existing buildings. Former Holmdel Mayor Ernie Cote and former Deputy Mayor Carole Balmer detailed their 1992 work with AT&T Bell Labs to accommodate Bell Labs request to provide a sole source sewer line to carry sewage from the Bell Labs’ chemical laboratory.
This Hearing’s only speaker clearly in favor of this proposed DEP Plan to sewer all portions of Lucent’s Holmdel property was William Parkinson, who represented Lucent.
Anthony Cooper, the President of the Citizens for Informed Land Use (CILU), presented this hearing’s presiding DEP official (Mr. Bill Purdie), with over 1,000 signatures of Holmdel voters, which are about evenly apportioned between two town-wide petitions. One petition is against NJDEP’s objectionable proposal to extend sewer service into nearly all of Holmdel’s Public Parks and Open Space Areas. The other petition is against NJDEP’s objectionable proposal to extend sewer service into all portions of the Bell Labs Lucent and Arts Center tracts.
Distinct from these two town-wide petitions, Anthony Cooper also indicated CILU’s support for a smaller group of homeowners in the so-called “East and West areas”, who are being threatened with unneeded, expensive and compulsory sewer hookups due to portions of NJDEP’s proposed Wastewater Management Plan for Monmouth County. Their special petitions and additional writings to NJDEP were presented by members of that group to Bill Purdie, the presiding DEP officer, as the last six intended speakers were being cut off.
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Attorneys representing Howell and Marlboro also voiced objections to DEP’s proposed Wastewater Management Plan for Monmouth County because DEP is trying to eliminate desired and much needed Sewer Service Areas in those Towns.
Since all those wishing to speak could not be heard due to lack of time, another Public Hearing and an extended comment period were discussed, but nothing was decided. All concerned citizens should be aware that, according the DEP’s official notice, all further written comments are due by June 21 to DEP’s Office of Land Use Planning, Attention: WQM Program Docket, PO Box 420, 410 East State St., Trenton NJ 08625.
* June 6, 2011 NJDEP Public Hearing at Monmouth County Library Headquarters, which is located at 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan, NJ 07726
Anthony Cooper, President
Citizens for Informed Land Use