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Barnegat Woman Calls For Soil Testing on Tanner's Pit Property

Denise Pilovsky has been a resident of the township for 21 years and questions if a rare liver disease her daughters share is caused by contaminated soil.

Denise Pilovsky has been a Barnegat resident for 21 years. She’s concerned about the welfare of her daughters and her community, and the township committee is listening.

Pilovsky went before the committee at its meeting Monday night, June 4, to discuss the soil in the area known as the “Tanner’s Pit Property,” an area that previously contained a landfill and a solid waste recycling factory, according to a report to the Barnegat Planning Board from Peter Van Den Kooy, P.P., AICP, dated May 22, 2012. The subject of the report was the Gunning River Road Area in Need of Redevelopment Investigative Study.

She was concerned there might be problems with the soil, and questioned a possible connection to a rare liver disease shared by her two daughters, who are 21 and 17 years old, respectively.

“The township will inquire about that and request samples be taken of the groundwater and soil,” Barnegat Mayor Alfonso Cirulli said. “ … When she said she had children with a rare liver disease, that was enough for me and the rest of the members of the committee to spend $700 or $800 to do the samples. We’re going to move on that.”

According to the report, Tanner’s Pit Property has a history of violations for operating a Solid Waste Facility without a permit, as well as storing demolition waste and recycling areas without the necessary approvals from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

According to the report, which Pilovsky shared with members of the committee and the media, the Tanner’s Pit Property was hit with penalties for violating the Sanitary Landfill Facility Closure and Contingency Fund Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, and other related NJDEP regulations relating to inspections conducted between July 1, 1992 and July 6, 1996.

From October of 1994 to July of 1998, Tanner’s Pit was penalized for failure to comply with groundwater sampling and reporting requirements contained within the New Jersey Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) permit issued to allow the discharge of leachate to groundwater, according to the report. Violations continued through March of 2004. The areas to the northeast, east and south of Tanner’s Pit were developed for residential use, the study says.

The study concludes that many hazards exist on the site, including large piles of debris and potentially contaminated soils; that a number of illegal activities have taken place, such as illegal dumping, trespassing and vandalism; and that there is a significant danger to the safety, health and welfare of the community.

The study recommended that the Gunning River Road Area be declared an Area in Need of Redevelopment.

Tanner’s Pit is 69 acres, is located northeast of Lillian M. Dunfee Elementary School on Gunning River Road, and has been part of Barnegat for at least 35 years.

“I believe they dumped concrete and some other things in there, but I don’t think it was ever supposed to be a toxic waste site,” Cirulli said.

According to Cirulli, Pilovsky is the first person to raise this question before township committee.

“I’ve lived in Barnegat for 21 years, and I have two girls with a rare liver disease,” Pilovsky said. “Could the soil be the problem?”

nyexpat June 07, 2012 at 09:48 PM
mandy, who do you work for?
Mac June 08, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Off base? Perhaps. It’s my favorite position. Do I know much about the rules of model plane aviation? Obviously not. Maybe that is why I previously assumed it seemed like so much fun. Do I know how much a potential terrorist/average wiseguy would appreciate having the resourcefulness of such a conveniently located model airstrip? Oh yeah. For one, it doesn't take much to convert a model flying machine to fly a few hundred more feet to accomplish an objective. Somehow dropping little packages of appreciation in the yards and lives of those who raise taxes comes immediately to mind. Way off base? I think not. It’s been my experience in life to recognize those that choose not to follow the rules most likely aren’t going to lose much sleep over the hardline no-exception-no-second-chance rules regardless of your position that they are insurmountable. Unfounded comments? I think not again. You’d have a better shot at converting the pit to an ATV park than selling Barnegat residents on having more planes flying overhead, directly or nearby, whether real, drone, or model. I hope the Township can help you establish your airstrip, as your cause has merit, but in a more responsible setting than in the middle of a bedroom community.
Capt Jacobsen Mey June 08, 2012 at 02:24 PM
A bedroom community with gangs, drunks and druggies. Take a drive around the area, take a good look at what is walking around. LOL!! Now the subject content has moved into a terrorist conspiracy, like some goons will all the sudden flock to Barnegat to create and fly "loaded" R/C planes for attack purposes. Hahahahaha! Some of you could write a script for Hollywood with he outlandish thoughts posted here - based off of a few indidividusls who posted a good use for the VACANT land. Here is what will happen - Barnegat will say they have done the sampling, the report will show its good and then eventually, they will sell the land to a Developer and more homes will be built right over top of the old landfill. It will be dusted under the carpet, as Barnegat is good at doing that. Oh, the delapidated green house with the roof falling in on the corner of rte 9 and gunning river - that must be a great selling point for the new Ryan Homes. Ahahaha!!
Bob Wise June 08, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Capt I would suggest that you "take a good look at what is walking around." Beautiful children and their families. If you stay on topic you would see that this story is about the health of two children. Instead of the same old negative stuff, why don't you demand that the committee gets to the bottom of this and find out what is really in the ground. As a town we should all come together for each other, because this could effect many children in the future. Best of health to the Pilovsky's.
Nicole July 18, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I am sorry but despite the beliefs of many older people here in Barnegat, not all of us teenagers are at home playing video games, and we are certainly not playing with model airplanes. Having a "hobby park" just seems like one more thing that the older people can enjoy while the kids do not have much; including an indecent softball field. Project Playground seemed such a great idea as well, but now it is used by kids, my age and younger for mischievous acts of disgrace. Fly your model airplane in your backyard, not mine thank you.

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