RELEASE: Gottheimer Continues Fight Against Illegal Toxic Dumping in North Jersey, Urges NJDEP to Help Clean Up Stag Hill

Local community needs new resources to finish clearing the illegal waste on Ramapough Lenape Nation tribal land

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Mahwah, NJ, May 4, 2021 | comments

                        


Above: Gottheimer speaks with members of the Ramapough Lenape Nation at Stag Hill today.

MAHWAH, NJ — Today, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and local community leaders visited Stag Hill, land that has been harmed by illegal dumping for more than half a century. Local residents have already cleaned up hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash, but the community lacks the resources needed to finish clearing remaining large piles of dumped waste. In a letter today to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Gottheimer is formally requesting assistance for the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization and the Township of Mahwah to remove the dumped waste, including specialized equipment and resources to help stop illegal dumping in the area.

The Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization and local residents have helped lead major clean up efforts at Stag Hill, and the Township of Mahwah and Bergen County have helped provide some resources — including purchasing supplies, tools, and signs to deter future dumping — but the community does not have the resources necessary to finish clearing remaining piles of shingles and milling.

“Stag Hill is the ancestral home of the Ramapough Lenape Nation. It is also an incredible natural habitat in the Fifth Congressional District,” wrote Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) in a letter to NJDEP this week. “Sadly, this scenic and meaningful land has been damaged by illegal dumping for more than half a century.” 

Gottheimer continued, “Illegal dumping is an abhorrent practice that is continuing to take place throughout North Jersey. We must stop these materials from further damaging our environment and contaminating our air and water. I respectfully request that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection work with the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization and the Township of Mahwah to remove historically dumped materials that require specialized equipment and provide any resources needed to help the community deter future dumping in the area.”

Gottheimer was joined during a site visit at Stag Hill today by Bergen County Commissioner Mary Amoroso, Bergen County Commissioner Tracy Zur, Mahwah Mayor Jim Wysocki, Mahwah Councilmember Janet Ariemma, Mahwah Councilmember Kim Bolan, Mahwah Councilman Robert "Rob" Ferguson, Executive Director of MEVO Violet Reed, Stag Hill MEVO Manager Billy Dimas, President of the Land Conservancy of New Jersey David Epstein, Chairwoman of the MEVO Board of Directors Karin Lagreca, Member of the MEVO Board of Directors Dr. Sandy Shevak, Ramapough Lenape Tribal Center Executive Director Petra, and Ramapough Lenape Nation Members Owl and Walt.

 

Below: Gottheimer visiting Stag Hill today with members of the Ramapough Lenape Nation and local leaders.

                            
                            
                            
                            
                            


Gottheimer’s full letter to NJDEP can be found here and below.

May 4, 2021

Acting Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

401 E State Street

Trenton, NJ 08608

 

Dear Acting Commissioner LaTourette:

 

Stag Hill in Mahwah, New Jersey has deep meaning for the community in Northern New Jersey, both for its environmental beauty and cultural importance. As you may be aware, Stag Hill is the ancestral home of the Ramapough Lenape Nation. It is also an incredible natural habitat in the Fifth Congressional District, which I represent. Sadly, this scenic and meaningful land has been damaged by illegal dumping for more than half a century. 

The Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization has done an incredible job with limited resources to clean hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash off of this land, including cans, bottles, furniture, appliances, and cars. Although they have received some resources from the Township of Mahwah and Bergen County to purchase supplies, tools, and signs to deter future dumping, they do not have the resources they need to finish clearing remaining piles of shingles and milling.

Illegal dumping is an abhorrent practice that is continuing to take place throughout North Jersey. We must stop these materials from further damaging our environment and contaminating our air and water. I respectfully request that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection work with the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization and the Township of Mahwah to remove historically dumped materials that require specialized equipment and provide any resources needed to help the community deter future dumping in the area.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and I look forward to hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact me at Josh.Gottheimer@mail.house.gov or Jennifer Mangano on my staff at Jennifer.Mangano@mail.house.gov should you have any questions or need further information.

Sincerely,

Josh Gottheimer

MEMBER OF CONGRESS

 

Cc: Governor Phil Murphy

Bergen County Executive James Tedesco

Bergen County Board of Commissioners

Ramapough Lunaape Nation Chief Dwaine Perry

Mahwah Mayor James Wysocki

Mahwah Township Council

 

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