The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a public meeting on Monday, March 13th regarding the former Ciba-Geigy chemical plant site in Toms River.
At the meeting, state officials will provide additional information and take questions regarding the assessment, and proposed restoration, of injured natural resources related to the recently announced settlement proposal.
The engagement session will be held in the Toms River North High School Auditorium and begin at 6 p.m.
The DEP also announced that, “due to the strong public interest that has been expressed, the DEP will make a final extension of the public comment period to April 5th.”
The former site of what was then the town’s largest employer, made the area one of the country’s most notorious Superfund sites, joining the list of the most seriously polluted areas in need of federally supervised cleanup.
The former Ciba-Geigy chemical plant began manufacturing industrial dyes, pigments, resins, and plastics in 1952.
In 1983, the site was listed on the National Priorities List as an EPA-lead Superfund Site due to significant contamination of soil and groundwater resulting from improper chemical waste disposal.
Plant operations ceased in 1990.
The proposed settlement agreement would permanently preserve and protect approximately 1,000 acres of the site in Toms River from future development to offset the groundwater injury tough groundwater aquifer recharge.
Of the 1,000 acres to be preserved, approximately 790 acres will be maintained as open space and will include restoration projects for ecological uplift, habitat enhancement, and public access.
Restoration projects within this space will incorporate hiking trails, birdwatching platforms and blinds, and an educational center among others for public enjoyment.
The remaining 210 acres will be set aside for pollinator habitat and solar energy production.