Now is not the time to relent

The New Jersey State Supreme Court last week did an amazing thing when it reversed an appellate court’s decision to reopen the Keegan Landfill. Now, for what will likely be the next five+ weeks, that place everyone in this area knows is emitting too much hydrogen sulfide — save for the State of New Jersey that is — will be closed to new dumping.

We know this means there will be no more sheetrock at the dump because despite what the state believes, sheetrock was still being dumped there.

We know this means there will still be trucks showing up to dump, though in theory they should be turned away at all costs. Make no mistake about it, though — some dumpers will still try to get in — and all citizens must remain vigilant … if you see something that doesn’t seem right, like a dump truck on top of the mound, call the Kearny Police Department immediately at 201-998-1313.

They continue to have cameras that record the entrance to the Keegan — and if there’s any doubt as to whether illegal dumping is happening, they’ll know, so long as you keep track of the day, date and time you “see something.”

With all of this in mind, this crisis is not over yet. As Kearny Mayor Alberto G. Santos said last week, though the NJ Supreme Court’s decision is precisely what we wanted, we’re not at the finish line yet.

There’s the July 25 hearing.

No matter who wins that hearing, expect the loser to appeal.

Then expect that decision to be appealed.

There could be several more rounds in court.

All that said, the bottom line is the Town of Kearny has not been this close to victory until now. Winning this battle is so very near. As such, it remains vitally important to continue to fight, to be vocal, to let the state and the NJSEA know that nothing short of a full, cap and sealed closure with gas-collection systems in place will suffice.

Go to the next NJSEA meeting at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 20, at 2 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst.

Keep calling Gov. Phil Murphy’s office each day at 609-292-6000.

Remember the hashtag #WeWontStopUntilTheyStop. We’re so close to being able to stop — but we’re not quite there yet. But the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is starting to get brighter. We indeed should rejoice for the victories thus far. But until that impermeable cap and gas-collection system we keep hearing about from Santos is in place, we must continue to fight.

And when victory is final, oh will it ever be that much sweeter.

Learn more about the writer ...

Editor & Broadcaster at 

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.