Keegan Landfill protest is Saturday, April 27, @ 11:30 a.m.

Editor’s note: The following commentary was written by Cristina Montague, a Kearny resident who has been in the forefront, as a civilian, in the fight to close the Keegan Landfill. 

Over the past year, the residents of Kearny have been suffering as a result of noxious hydrogen sulfide gas emanating from the Keegan Landfill, which is owned and operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA). The rotten-egg odor has become a regular occurrence, permeating through town on a daily basis and it’s having a DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON THE HEALTH AND QUALITY OF LIFE of our residents.

Many are complaining of headaches, nausea and there are raised worries about difficulty breathing due to the odors. Residents are unable to open their windows; they are unable to enjoy their properties and children cannot play in their own backyards.

A view of the Keegan Landfill as some sort of substance comes from a truck dumping materials that are likely not permitted to be disposed of here.

It has become an unbearable situation. The landfill poses a serious health concern as it is in very close proximity to residences, an elementary school and one of the most active recreational fields in town.

The NJSEA has been issued multiple violations by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and have openly admitted to being less than vigilant in what is being dumped at the landfill. They acknowledged they have not put controls in place to prevent the disaster that has devastated our town, affecting not only the health and well-being of our residents, but also causing serious environmental harm.

The Town of Kearny has had to purchase its own equipment to monitor our air quality and there are regular readings of elevated hydrogen sulfide. The town will be forced to close recreational fields when air quality deteriorates, leaving hundreds of kids with nowhere to play sports.

We deserve to breathe clean air and to raise our families in a safe and healthy environment. Landfills do not belong near our communities and the state’s continued operation of the Keegan Landfill poses a public-health and environmental emergency.

The residents of Kearny have been pleading with Gov. Phil Murphy to immediately and permanently shut down this landfill, yet he continues to permit its operation.  What is being done to our community is a GREAT INJUSTICE and MUST END NOW!

Residents will protest on Saturday, April 27 at 11:30 a.m. They will be meet at the Kearny DPW yard, 357 Bergen Ave., and then march to the landfill.

Cristina Montague

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