Nutley HAZMAT and Department of Public Works (DPW) employees are investigating the illegal dumping of a petroleum product into the storm water system that eventually made its way to the Third River in Booth Park.
An oily sheen was reported on Thursday, Jan. 26, in a small tributary of Third River. Working together, both departments traced the origin to the area around Stager Street, between Franklin and Ravine avenues.
Illegal dumping of petroleum products is a violation of the New Jersey Pollution Control Act. Any person caught discharging any substance, including leaves, litter and trash can be subject to both local and state fines plus the cost of the clean-up.
“All of our stormwater catch basins eventually empty into the Third and Passaic rivers,” Mayor Joseph P. Scarpelli said. “Contaminants entering the Passaic River watershed adversely affect fish and other wildlife in and around the rivers. I advise residents not to dump or throw any waste into our catch basins in an effort to avoid polluting our waterways.”
Nutley HAZMAT crews responded quickly, deploying absorbent booms that contained the spill. The swift action by the Nutley Fire Department mitigated potential damage and prevented the contamination from spreading any further.
“Luckily, we were able to act rapidly thanks to Nutley being the only Fire Department in Essex County besides Newark with a local HAZMAT team,” Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco said. “Those responsible for dumping illegally into our storm water system will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Anyone with any information regarding the illegal discharge is asked to contact Lt. Anthony Santoro of the Nutley Fire Department at (973) 284-4940.
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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.