EDITORIAL: Facing Sacco resolution, NJSEA again has opportunity to close landfill, but likely won’t

We haven’t been this close to cap-and-closure of the Keegan Landfill in a long time.

Thanks to a resolution proffered by Sen. Nicholas Sacco in the state Senate and thanks to one similar — already approved by the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders thanks to Freeholder Albert J. Cifelli — we can breathe a sigh of relief that officials outside West Hudson get it and they’re speaking loud and clear at the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority and the NJDEP.

The message is one we’ve heard, ad nauseam, for months.

But there’s still work to be done — and it may be some time before the Senate resolution gets up for a vote.

Yet again, however, we’re at a point where we shouldn’t have to wait. Because now it is clear to just about everyone but the NJSEA and Gov. Phil Murphy that this landfill has caused a health crisis and is so much more than an odor nuisance as the NJSEA called it last week in a press release.

The NJSEA — including Chairman John Ballantyne and CEO Vincent Prieto — now has an opportunity (again) to do the right thing. Hear the message we’ve been shouting. Hear the message behind the Senate and freeholders’ resolutions. Do the right thing, once and for all.

Shut the Keegan Landfill down for good. Today. And start the process of placing on it an impermeable cap. The next day. It can be done legally. It must be done logically. And all these months of bad juju might just go away.

Are you listening, now, governor? Are you listening now, Mr. Ballantyne? Are you listening now, Mr. Prieto? It simply cannot be that you’re among the dozen or so people in this world who don’t get what is happening.

It just can’t.

Enough is enough, already. Close and cap now. You know we’re not going to stop until it’s closed.

So don’t wait to hear what Judge Jeff Jablonski decides.

Don’t wait for the Sacco resolution to pass the Senate and Assembly (and make no mistake about it — it will.)

Close it now. Give the people of West Hudson their health back. And we can all go on living happily ever after.

So will you, NJSEA? Will you, Gov. Murphy? Or will you continue to demonstrate absolute and abhorrent tone-deafness to the reality that this is so much more than just a bad smell?

Please — show us you get it — finally. Or you’ll continue to hear from us as we do everything within our means to be sure someone shuts it down, with a cap, forever, for you. Think about it. What kind of legacy will that leave you all with?

Do the right thing.



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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.