The numbers are staggering.
Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos, in a video posted to social media recently, visited the Keegan Landfill off Bergen Avenue and announced some readings of hydrogen sulfide taken from the dump on a single day.
An acceptable reading is 30 parts per billion (ppb).
The readings varied from 82 ppb to a whopping 248 ppb. These numbers are obscene.
The hydrogen sulfide not only emits a horrendous odor — you’ve probably all grown to just love that egg smell — but it also affects the health of residents. Santos noted in the video that it’s possible those with respiratory issues, including asthma, could be negatively affected by these unconscionable readings.
In fact, we know of several people whose breathing issues have been notably bad of late — and now we can’t help but wonder whether it’s the Keegan Landfill that is causing this adverse effect.
With readings as high at 248 ppb — while 30 ppb is the maximum acceptable — it is becoming more and more clear that the Town of Kearny, and surrounding towns, may very well have more than just an odor problem.
This could very well be a health crisis.
And what has the State of New Jersey done to exacerbate the issue?
Years ago, the state promised a new recreational facility on what is now the Keegan Landfill. Given what’s going on there now, it’s hard to fathom a rec facility there. (That’s a discussion for another day.) And it also begs the question — how many other sites that are unsound environmentally have been built on across the state?
We’d love to know the answer.
But the idea here is that once again, the state continues to dump on Kearny, both figuratively and literally, and lied when it said it would close the dump and replace it with something positive for the community.
We’re tired of this.
We’ve seen enough.
And we take this time to affirm the remarks of the mayor when he demanded the state close Keegan until a time when it can be certain it knows why the hydrogen sulfide readings are as bad as they are — and until it can come up with a solution to fix the readings and eliminate the odors that have caused such a great quality-of-life issue … and perhaps health issues … for residents.
We’ll also take it one step further — Gov. Phil Murphy, close the Keegan Landfill once and for all.
Reverse the lies created by previous administrations.
For once, do the right thing for the people of Kearny and rid us of this decades-old nuisance.
Enough with the rhetoric.
Enough with the lack of concern from the NJDEP.
The people here deserve so much better. We’ve been dumped on for far too long.
It must end, once and for all. Now.
We’ll be watching. We’ll be waiting.
No other solution will suffice.
Learn more about the writer ...
Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.