LETTER — Montague: What Murphy is doing is an injustice to Kearny’s residents

To the Editor:

Over the past year, 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 and are unable to enjoy their properties — children cannot play in their own backyards. 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 acknowledge 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 residents, but also causing serious environmental harm.

The Town of Kearny has had to purchase its own equipment to monitor 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 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.

Cristina Montague

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