A few members of the public expressed concern and discontent over the fact that Berry Lane Park still has traces of chromium on the 17-plus acres of property where the project was built at a meeting in Jersey City last night.
The meeting was hosted by new Site Administrator Ronald Riccio, an attorney for McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP, who took over the project on January 4th, to discuss bringing residents up to speed on the situation.
In short, the State Department of Environmental Protection, the City of Jersey City and PPG Industries agreed to a consent order back in 2009 to clean up PPG’s chromium sites that are almost solely in Jersey City (though Mayor Dennis Collins Park in Bayonne was impacted as well).
Riccio indicated right off the bat that his top priority was the safety of those living near the sites.
Formally appointed as the site administrator on September 30, 2015 by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Hector Velasquez, Riccio added that he has spent significant time at the sites and is also regularly corresponding with the DEP, the City of Jersey City and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency – with the latter playing a major role in building Berry Lane Park.
While the question and answer session began calm enough, some residents expressed their anger and frustration over the fact that the park site still has any trace of chromium at all. The park is tentatively set to open in June.
Riccio also reiterated that Berry Lane Park has been “remediated to the highest standard,” according to the DEP.