Firm Set to Begin Votee Park Cleanup

Work to be completed within 29 weeks under $70K contract.

Work to address soil contamination found in park is expected to begin within 30 days under a $70,000 contract approved by the this week.

Somerville-based environmental firm JM Sorge is set to complete the work within 29 weeks, according to the contract. JM Sorge will serve as the licensed site remediation professional, a Department of Environmental Protection program where private firms manage and carry out work on contaminated sites in compliance with state standards.

The project will include analyzing existing soil samples and preparing reports on the site’s background, and how the firm plans to cleanup sections of the park.

The 40-acre park revealed levels of contaminants above state guidelines in the town’s main park. Elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, called PAHs, PCBs, metals and benzo(a)pyrene were discovered.

Council members selected JM Sorge formed earlier this year. Under the firm’s proposal, soil in an area in the southwest corner of the park contaminated with high levels of lead would be removed. Samples of other contaminants found around the park would be averaged to come with measurements below state guidelines. Any contamination “hot spots” above the average would be removed under the plan.

A deed restriction limiting the area to parkland will be also needed to prevent a clash with state environmental guidelines for residential properties.

Township said the contamination presented no health risks. Contaminants found in the soil were similar to those found elsewhere around New Jersey and other states, according to the state’s letter.

The township’s advisory board and an independent panel of academics also concluded there was no health risk to park visitors.

The contaminated soil was discovered through a project to install artificial turf on playing fields in the park. The project used state money from the Green Acres Program, which required the soil tests.


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