OCEANPORT: The owner of a long-vacant piece of borough property has begun the process of making the site safe for development.
Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey said he received an email about an upcoming application for an environmental clean-up at 275 Port Au Peck Ave., a property owned by the Mazza family
"In 2010 they began to remediate the property and during the remediation, non-friable asbestos tiles were found in the debris buried on site," Coffey said at the Jan. 2 Oceanport Council meeting. "Testing was performed by licensed site remediation engineers who found that the asbestos did not spread to any adjacent properties. A number of steps are needed before the property is remediated again."
The first step is to have a site investigation involving the digging of "test pits" to determine the depth and type of debris in the ground; a process that requires the approval of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Coffey said Mazza is voluntarily noticing the borough about the process.
"He felt it was better this way because the public would be aware that this activity was taking place on the site and that the engineering controls are being put in place to protect the health and safety of the community," Coffey said.
Dominick Mazza, Jr. was at the meeting on behalf of his father and uncle who own the property and said he would like to have a forum to address the public and neighbors in the future.
"We don't want to be in a situation where we put a machine out there with an engineer and start digging and then residents start calling the DEP...because they're wondering what's going on," Mazza said. "We want to make sure everyone is comfortable with the process going forward."
Coffey and the council agreed that the forum was a good idea.
Mazaa said the test pits could be dug in April or May, and that once the ground is tested and the level of contamination is known, a decision on how to clean it up will be made.
There is no word on what will be done at the site once it is remediated. In 2016, a plan was presented to build an equestrian facility at the site, but a month later, it was withdrawn.