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3 Year Anniversary of the Closure of the Keegan Landfill in Kearny NJ

Jun 12, 2022
NJ Supreme Court Closure Order

Three years ago today, on June 12, 2019, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an Order to uphold the closure of the Keegan Landfill in Kearny NJ. The unanimous decision by the seven justices reversed a two-Judge Appellate Panel decision that overturned Hudson County Chancery Judge Jeffrey Jablonski's decision that closed the landfill because it was causing "irreparable harm" by its release of Hydrogen Sulfide gas (H2S) in quantities above Environmental Protection Agency safe limits. Any level over 30 ppb exceeded EPA guidelines for health. There were times that the meters for the Town of Kearny exceeded 200 ppb in Hydrogen Sulfide Gas.  There were occasional reading over 1000 ppb.

New Jersey Supreme Court Order Upholding Chancery Judge Jeffrey Jablonski

The decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court was a victory not only for Kearny's Mayor Alberto Santos and Town Council who sued the owner of the Keegan Landfill, the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) but for members of the community including residents of Harrison who participated in a Protest March to the Keegan Landfill urging its closure. Residents of the Town of Harrison have benefited from better air quality. It was a long and hard-fought battle that took many years, but in the end justice prevailed. Today, the Keegan Landfill is closed and the community can finally breathe a sigh of relief.  The Air Quality in the neighboring community has improved.  Thank you to all those who fought so hard to make this happen. We will never forget what you have done for us. 

The Observer Newspaper Article Regarding Harrison Support for Closure With former Councilman Anselmo Millan photo delivering Petition with over 2000 Harrison Citizen Signatures Seeking Governor Murphy's Support to Close the Keegan Landfill to Governor Murphy's Office in Trenton NJ.

Although the Keegan Landfill is closed, it does not appear that the Landfill is capped. The NJSEA website has had no updates on the progress of the capping of the landfill. There has been put in place a hydrogen sulfide and methane gas collection system at the landfill which collects the gases and then burns them off so that they do not enter the surrounding communities. The Capping of the landfill was also supposed to occur after "clean fill" was brought into the landfill to level the landfill so that rainwater could be controlled and prevented its entry into the landfill and thus eventually drying the landfill and depriving the landfill of one of the necessary ingredients (water) which soaks sheetrock which was illegally dumped into the landfill. A soaked piece of sheetrock attracts bacteria which produces the H2S gas. 

Monitoring Station Report from August 25, 2019 indicating one meter over 1000 ppb.

Without an update from NJSEA and/or the Town of Kearny as to the current state of the capping, it is not know at this time when the capping will be completed. 

Happy third anniversary! Here's to many more years of clean air and peace of mind for the people of West Hudson and neighboring towns. Thanks again to all those who made this possible. We are forever in your debt.  

For more information on the effort to close the Keegan Landfill, you can visit the Facebook page entitled "Kearny Complaints for Smells", or the website and/ or the Town of Kearny Keegan Landfill page.  The Close Keegan website has a link on its front page to the current Live H2S Meters and also information on how to report an environmental issue to the NJDEP through its WARNNJ Smart Phone App or through their toll free phone number.

 Keegan Protect March. In Center Cristina Montague one of the members of the Kearny Community who along with Melanie Ryan set up the "Kearny Complaints for smells" Facebook page instrumental in community organization and outreach.  Mayor Alberto Santos to the far right and to his left is Attorney John M. Pinho.

Do you agree that until the Keegan Landfill is fully capped and the H2S and Methane Gas are being collected and either burned to converted into harmless gas through newer filtration systems on the market today, the job of the elected officials and the community is not completed?

Join the Discussion on the Keegan Landfill on our Discussion Board.  You can Sign Up for Free to participate.