Public Hearing




"Testimony on the remediation alternatives for the GEMS Landfill"


Gloucester Township Municipal Building Gloucester Township, New Jersey



June 2, 2003
7:00 p.m.



Assemblyman Robert J. Smith II, Chairman

Assemblyman Louis D. Greenwald


Jeffrey T. Climpson  Maggie Manza Jerry Traino
Office of Legislative Services  Assembly Majority Assembly Republican
Committee Aide Committee Aide Committee Aide


Meeting Recorded and Transcribed by
he Office of Legislative Services, Public Information Office,
Hearing Unit, State House Annex, PO 068, Trenton, New Jersey


weíre going to get started here. I apologize for the late start.

Thereís no amplification here, so Iím going to try to speak as loud

as I can. And if anybody canít hear me, just raise your hands.

I appreciate everybody coming out tonight for this very, very

important public forum. We have a couple members of the Assembly that are

still in transit. Assemblyman Louis Greenwald and Assemblyman Douglas

Fisher are in transit. They should be here very shortly. But just -- because

everybody was here at 7:00, I want to make sure that we get started as close as

possible to the time that it was scheduled.

So what Iíd like to do is to have Jeff, from the Office of Legislative

Services, just give a very brief overview of the bill. And I find that the best

dialogue occurs during discussion, when weíre actually talking about the bill --

questions and answers. And after heís finished, maybe I can try to clear up

some things, and we can begin by calling up people to testify on the bill.

MR. CLIMPSON (Committee Aide): This bill, Assembly Bill

3174, was amended in Committee on March 6. And with those amendments,

the bill now does the following. It would prohibit the discharge of untreated or

pre-treated wastewater from Superfund sites in the publicly owned treatment

works. It would also prohibit any publicly owned treatment works from

accepting any untreated or pre-treated wastewater discharged from a Superfund


When the Committee amended the bill, it clarified that it applied

only to Superfund sites -- to Superfund sites that are former landfills, to insert

a number of remediation requirements to be imposed on former landfills that are


Superfund sites, which have radionuclide pollutants associated with them, and

to require the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Just by way of background, I am

Assemblyman Robert Smith. I chair the Natural Resources, Agricultural

Committee. I thought it was very important that we have a public forum in

Gloucester Township, the township that is directly involved with this legislation,

directly involved with any potential negative effects of the GEMS remediation


We have Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, who is the co-sponsor of

the bill-- And as I said earlier, we have Assemblyman Fisher on his way.

So what Iíd like to do at this point is to call up Senator George

Geist, who wishes to testify. Is he here?

S E N A T O R G E O R G E F. G E I S T: Yes.


SENATOR GEIST: Good evening, Chairman Smith, Chairman


Chairmen, I thank you for enabling this forum in our Gloucester

Township. It is a pleasure to appear at a Committee hearing in my new

capacity as Senator. And tonight, I believe, we have a together endeavor, where

in the unity of this community, we are, truly, in a together endeavor to protect

our environment and protect our residents.

I enjoyed the privilege of serving on your Committee. And earlier

this year, we heard many of the residents come to Trenton and testify. Their

testimony compelled action when our Committee released the legislation. I


thank you for enabling my involvement with some friendly amendments to the


Today, we can send a message. Respectfully, weíre here tonight as

a result of a court ruling. Iíll read verbatim an excerpt from the Courier. "The

Trust filed a motion in April asking Simandle to force the CCMUA to accept the

water, despite public fears about exposure to radionuclides flowing through

county sewer mains." I read that verbatim quote from our newspaper, because

weíre here as a result of a court ruling, following a filing of a motion by "the


Mr. Chairman, youíve heard me say before, youíll hear me say now,

respectfully, I donít trust the Trust. (applause)

The action of the motion by the Trust did not fulfill the public

trust. Our legislation -- my resolution, your legislation, our efforts together --

have a consistency in emphasizing that there should be financial accountability

by the Trust.

Todayís Courier Post editorial raised questions. I emphasize, where

did all the money go? Why do we have this predicament? Why could not the

Trust finance for on-site solution? Why did the Trust file a motion to compel

the problem? I think everyone in this room has a right to know, where did all

the money go? Where did all the money go? Thatís my emphasis tonight.

Iím here to thank you for allowing our constituents the opportunity

to be heard. And in respect for the residents, my brevity is my word tonight.

Thank you, Chairmen. (applause)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Senator Geist, I truly appreciate your

comments, and theyíre well-taken.


I just want to emphasize with the legislation that was introduced --

it was introduced a long time ago -- it was released from our Committee,

probably, five or six weeks ago. And the hearing tonight was planned far in

advance of the court decision. I had no idea when that decision was coming

down. It was always intended that we would discuss the issue of this legislation

in Gloucester Township with the residents, those residents that are most affected

by the legislation. So I just wanted to clarify that.

SENATOR GEIST: To you and Chairman Greenwald, we are now

co-prime sponsors of Assembly bills. And I truly look forward to voting on

those bills in the Senate. And I hope that this dynamic duo can inspire Speaker

Sires to list our bills so that we can have action in the Assembly. And I look

forward to supporting those bills when they come over to the Senate.

I thank Chairman Greenwald for coming to Gloucester Township

tonight to help us in this effort.



SENATOR GEIST: Thank you, Chairmen.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Okay, we have Jeff Tittel, from the

New Jersey Sierra Club, in favor of the bill that is -- wishes to testify.

J E F F T I T T E L: Thank you.

Jeff Tittel, Director, New Jersey Sierra Club.

Iím here today on behalf of not only the 23,000 members of the

Sierra Club of New Jersey, but our whole national organization.

The problem of Superfund sites throughout the country has really

become part of Americaís ticking time bomb. And how we deal with these sites,


and how we clean them up, is critically important. And I really believe that this

legislative body can send a message, not only in Gloucester Township, but

across the country -- in, basically, saying when we clean up sites, the people

come first, not the polluters, not some trust, but the people who are most


And I really want to thank everybody for being here and having the

hearing. And I want to thank Assemblyman Greenwald for being here, and

Assemblyman Smith for holding the hearing, and, of course, now Senator Geist,

for being one of the early movers of the bill -- and supporters.

But when it comes right down to it, the EPA has failed us. Iíve

called them every polluterís advocate. Now we have a judge thatís taken the side

of the polluters over the people. And I think that the only remedy that we have

is, really, for the Legislature to get involved and to take an active role. Thatís

what really counts, at this time, because we need to send a clear message and

change the law so that we donít dump Chernobyl water into our sewer systems

or into our streams. And itís not just here. Thereís other sites in New Jersey

where we have volatile organic chemicals and other contaminated waste going

past peopleís homes; being vented into their basements; when it rains, coming

out onto the streets; getting into sewer sludge and being thrown on farmland,

and getting into our food chain that way. So itís really critical, I think, that we

say no and that we move forward.

And since this was also a hearing to discuss some other remedies,

one of the things I was just thinking of throwing out for discussion, and maybe

further to look into, is not only to look into the Trust itself and see where the

money has gone, but, maybe, legislation to either do a Teddy Roosevelt and


bust the trust, as he did -- as he was noted for many years ago -- and to, really,

see what theyíre about, but also what else we can do. Because, legislatively, if

we either eliminate the Trust or open it up and have the responsible agencies

take over for cleaning up -- like our own DEP -- maybe we would do a better

job, because I really think that the more accountable we can make those people

responsible for the cleanup, the better.

So maybe thatís something to look into. But, again, itís just an

idea -- and, I think, to try to throw things open and, maybe, go after some of the

responsible parties to help pay for better treatment.

Itís really ironic that the Trust has enough money to go to court

and, probably, battle this up to the Supreme Court, but they donít have enough

money to do a proper cleanup. And I think itís very important for the

Legislature to step forward and to, basically, say, "No. Weíre going to stop this

from going forward, and weíre going to make sure that itís cleaned up, and itís

cleaned up right, not only in Gloucester Township, but in the other 118

Superfund sites we have in the State of New Jersey."

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Jeff, I think you have some very, very

good ideas, some very good points. Itís probably the subject thatís beyond our

jurisdiction as the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, but

weíll certainly take that back, number one.

Number two, the legislation was introduced five, six, eight weeks

ago in response to conversations with people like you and the other

environmental groups in Gloucester Township. And weíre trying to do our best,

as an Assembly panel component of the general Assembly, to address this very


important issue. But, certainly, we will take those issues back and look into it.

You raised very important concerns.

MR. TITTEL: Well, one of the things I do want to commend

yourself for, and the other members of your Committee is-- I just wanted to --

being involved in the Legislature and watching, sometimes, bill languish for

years, if not decades, I have-- There are some bills that weíve been involved

with, that we still support, that was a-- It was originally a Maureen Ogden bill

and then a-- Itís had, maybe, five sponsors. Itís been in the Legislature for 12


And one of the things that Iíd like to say is that this was one of the

quickest Iíve ever seen a bill get introduced and move out of Committee. And

Iíd like to thank the Committee for doing that, because this is an important

issue, and the timeliness is important, as we all know.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Well, if youíre able to stick around for

another 20 minutes or so, there may be better news when it comes to the

progress of the bill.

MR. TITTEL: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: You lost a lot of weight.



MR. TITTEL: Itís the budget diet. I just cut everything 20 percent.


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: We donít have any money, you

donít have any weight. (laughter)


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Linda Selby, South Jersey

Environmental Justice Alliance.

L I N D A S E L B Y: Hello. My name is Linda Selby. I represent the South

Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance. Iím also a Camden resident and a

student at Rutgers University.

This whole GEMS Landfill really resonates with me. Besides being

a Camden resident and student, I live in an area that has a lot of environmental

justice issues. And it just seems like Camden always ends up at the end of the

pipe. And here, once again, radioactive water might end up flowing through not

only Runnemede and all these other places, but will end up in Camden.


a little louder, please?


Not only will radioactive water flow through a lot of townships, but

will end up, once again, in Camden.

Youíll have to excuse me, Iím a little nervous. Iíve never been to

a hearing, never testified before.



ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thereís no amplification on the mikes.

Itís just for recording purposes. So maybe Linda will try to speak up -- and do

your best to project your voice so everybody can hear you.

MS. SELBY: All right. That, generally, is never a problem for me.

Also, as a student, I just recently did a paper on the whole GEMS

Landfill thing. I did a lot of research on it. We all know what kind of problems


that the radionuclide can do to peopleís health. And I just think that there are,

like, all these -- Iím sorry--

All of these people who contributed to this problem have the

responsibility to clean this up. It shouldnít be the peopleís responsibility. It

should be the responsibility of the people who created this mess in the first

place. (applause)

The fact that the Trust has money or doesnít have money to clean

this up-- They had-- They didnít care about it when they put that in there. The

Trust was, like, generated to fix this up, and itís up to them to do it. It

shouldnít be, like, our taxpayer money that takes care of it. Our health and our

welfare should not play a part in this. Suppose something happens to, like, the

pipes. Some people have, like, backup of sewers and stuff in their backyards

and in their homes. I feel that as a resident of Camden, I refuse to accept this


Thatís all I have to say. (applause)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Great. Thank you very much, Linda.

Okay. Next we have Maureen Redrow, Councilwoman, Gloucester


C O U N C I L W O M A N M A U R E E N R E D R O W: Thank you

very much.

First, Iíd like to apologize. Monday nights, we have a regular

scheduled workshop, and we will have to be leaving this meeting today. And

thatís where some of the other council people are.


I did want to thank you for having the meeting tonight, for making

sure that Gloucester Township is protected, for staying involved in legislation

and making sure that itís not just left to the wayside.

In Gloucester Township, weíve been working on this issue for

many, many, many, many years. Iíve been on the Council for three years, and

Iíve recently just gotten involved in this. As some of the people that are here,

today, know, this comes up at our meetings quite often.

And weíve been very frustrated. Weíre very concerned. We live in

this township, we have family in this township, weíre concerned with the

workers, weíre concerned with the residents, and the towns that are also going

to have this water pass through to them.

We have done a few things within our means. Weíve been able to

change our Trust, because we did not feel that Gloucester Township was being

represented. So we took that step upon ourselves. Weíve hired an

environmental engineer to help Council understand what the chemicals and the

compounds are involved in this, because weíre not chemists, weíre not engineers.

So weíve asked them to help us with that. We have, also, passed resolutions to

do the on-site treatment. So, along with all the residents that are here, I think

all of our concerns are the same.

Anything that you can do to help us-- Weíve been educated

through some of the environmental committees, and I appreciate that, to those

of you that are here today. And I just want to make sure that everyone just

keeps moving in the right direction to make sure that this does not affect our


Thank you. (applause)


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you, Maureen.

Gloria Gledhill. Is she here? New Jersey American Water

Company. Gloria Gledhill, in favor of the bill.

G L O R I A G L E D H I L L: And I will emote. I have big vocal chords.

Again, for those of you who didnít hear, my name is Gloria

Gledhill, and Iím with New Jersey American Water Company. We are, in fact,

the largest water utility in the state. We serve about one out of eight people. Itís

a lot of water.

So as the largest water utility in the state, and one that is very

conscious of the high cost that is involved with treating contaminated water, we

wanted to commend your efforts and just say that we strongly support

constructing on-site treatment to remove the waste from the water. We also

wanted to offer you our continued support with this. We do have some

expertise in that area.

So we look forward to supporting the bill as it moves through the

Assembly and on to the Senate. And if thereís anything that you might need --

questions or concerns -- we just want you to feel free to call New Jersey

American, and weíre here to help you.

So thank you for sponsoring the bill. And, like I said, anything we

can do to help--

Thatís it. Thatís my testimony. (applause)


Ed Knorr, Green Action Alliance. Is Ed here? (affirmative



E D W A R D K N O R R: This doesnít work? (referring to recording


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: It doesnít amplify. It just records what

is being said.

MR. KNORR: Oh, okay. Iíve been known to be soft-spoken, so

I donít-- I want to make sure you can hear.

My name is Ed Knorr, Chairman of the Green Action Alliance.

Before you tonight, Chairman Smith and members of the

Committee, is a very serious issue. Itís a dangerous issue to the residents of

South Jersey, especially Gloucester Township.

I wanted to just go over a few points. My notes got a little mixed

up coming over here, so bear with me. Iíll be quick, because I know other

people want to testify.

Itís interesting, the EPA standards are established to protect the

public from the potential adverse health effects of radionuclide. I lead with that

statement right there, because I think itís very important that we seem to

contradict whatís being done, and what the EPAís focus and goal really is.

Weíre playing by two sets of rules. It seems that under the EPA

guidance, they supervise the pumping of contaminated water in the Holly Run.

Itís been well-documented that there was contaminated water pumped in there.

The concern is for how long, how much has gone in there, and what has been

that effect over the years. We may not know that until more contaminated

wells turn up.


And I think we all know the issue in the past with contaminated

wells, especially in our township and the surrounding areas, now. And North

Jersey has the same problem.

I asked everybody here, what would happen if we did this on our

property, if we had a bunch of contaminated water in our yard, on our property

-- if we decided just to pump it into the creek? (applause) I think itís very real

as to what would happened. Weíd be, first, cited for fines, locked up,

fingerprinted, processed, and then be fighting a two-year battle. And Iíd

probably be getting you, Mr. Smith, to represent me. (laughter)


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Now, now. Thatís another


MR. KNORR: Just a little joke there.

But the sad reality is, weíre playing by two sets of rules again.

Weíre letting the polluter take advantage of the situation, and weíre putting the

burden on the residents of Gloucester Township, South Jersey, and the taxpayers

of the entire State of New Jersey, because this issue focuses on everybody

throughout the State of New Jersey. And the Judgeís ruling, unfortunately, I

donít think was focused in the right direction, nor do I think he contemplated

many of the issues that are involved with the Superfund cleanup. I know heís

been on it a long time, but thereís a lot of different factors involved in cleanup.

Iíve been in the environmental industry 23 years. I own my own business, and

I know damn well, if I did something wrong, theyíd be banging down my door

real quick. (applause)


What has been going on at GEMS is amazing. Thereís, what I

consider, violations of the National Pretreatment Program, where even the

treated water is not up to the standards it should be to travel through the lines.

I have the--

What happens in five, 10 years from now? Weíre looking at a case

scenario thatís happening right now. We do not know what the values will be

in five years, 10 years. We do know in 10 years, I believe, the State will be

taking over that project. What the State will assume, then, is all the

responsibility for the past 10 years. So if we leave this situation go, the way it

stands right now, we will be assuming the responsibility from this day forward

at taxpayersí expense, and we will be letting GEMS Trust off the hook. And I

think thatís a very serious mistake, because I think, at this point, we donít know

whatís in the ground.

They settled the Trust and got the money before they realized what

was there. Whatís going to happen in 10 or 15 years when they find something

different? Thatís the burden on us, the taxpayers. And I donít think that should

be the case. I think there needs to be more investigation into this site. There

needs to be more investigation into this whole scenario of why itís going this far,

and why the agency that set out -- the EPA -- to protect the residents of this

country have suddenly turned a blind eye to the residents and given the polluters

full steam to do whatever they want. (applause)

In closing, there are standards that we have set up. These standards

-- surface water standards for certain radionuclide -- which has become a

concern. Some people blow it out of proportion -- the guy I have sitting on the

toilet there (indicating) thatís lighting up-- It may be a little overdramatization


of whatís happening, but the point is to take a look at those issues and

understand that when we look at this factor -- the one lady who was up here

before me said about a pipe leaking-- A lot of times, with sewage leaks, you

may not find them for a month, two months, three months. We already have

enough problem with our groundwater contamination, without this situation

occurring one, two, five, 10, 20, 30 -- we donít know how many -- times

throughout the course of 30 years. And thatís only, probably, the minimum

thatís looked at for the piping of this water.

But one issue that hasnít been looked at is the accumulative effect.

I just want to quickly go over this, because Iíve worked out these tables. And

this is what was good about going to Catholic school and having detention. The

nuns used to give the times tables to do, so I can utilize this to work out my


As we look at whatís in the ground right now, at surface water

standards, this is an issue which I know you have no -- you canít control at this

point -- and even whether theyíre safe or not -- you do have control of looking --

the whole situation. This is what Iím concerned that the Judge did not see.

Weíre looking at a course of a day, as to the amount of picocuries -- radiation --

thatís put into the line that gets transported -- worker exposure -- to the

Delaware River.

Weíre looking at 3.7 million, roughly, for radium. If we went to

uranium, weíre looking at 22.7 million. Thatís in a single day. Iím not going

to go through all the figures: day, week, month. But letís go to a year. Itís 1.6

million for radium, 3.8 million for thorium, 7.6 million for uranium. And now

we go to the 10-year plan, where we, the taxpayers, you the legislators, all join


together to take over this project. Ten years time: thorium, 38,152,800,000

picocuries pumped through those lines, through leaking, whatever, into the

Delaware River -- exposure to all the workers. And this is at surface water

standards, so these arenít hyped. Uranium, 76,000,305,000; and radium --

probably looking at 40 billion, 41 billion. So what does this tell us? This tells

us that when GEMS gets off the hook in 10 years, and weíve got to look at this

project down the line at 20, 25, 30 years, we have a hell of a cleanup at the

Delaware River.

We have real concern for worker exposure, resident exposure, over

this course of the next 20 and 30 years. And we havenít even taken into

consideration the toxic cocktail that can form by not just one pollutant. And

Iím only talking about one at a time. Combine all these together, combine the

heavy metals together: lead, mercury, whatever else -- the volitales:

dichloroethane, perchloroethene, xylene, benzene. Combine them all together

in a toxic cocktail -- we donít know what we really have there. We donít know

what thatís going to do to the ground, the worker exposure, or to the air quality,

yet weíre letting GEMS, at this point-- And the EPA was the one that should

be bringing this point up, not the residents of South Jersey.

So I think you, when you look at this project, overall-- We have

a very serious concern for the standards that are there. And even at surface

water standards, without increasing any, we could have a serious problem in 10


Thank you very much. (applause)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Ed, thank you very much. You,

obviously, bring up very, very good points, points that were important to me


two, three, four months ago, when you came to my office, or when we met out

here, and said we need to do something about that.

We are, as a general body -- the general Legislature, general

Assembly, trying to move this legislation so that your concerns are, indirectly,

addressed. I mean, that was the whole intention of this legislation -- is to

address your concerns in the way that weíre able to, as a Legislature in New

Jersey. There are certain limitations, obviously, when it comes to Federal court

decisions. But we can affect the laws -- the substantive laws of the State of New

Jersey, and thatís what weíre trying to do with this legislation.

I just want to say, right up front, that I spoke to the Speaker today,

and he told me that this bill is going to be posed on June 12. (applause) So,

when Jeff Tittel, from the Sierra Club, said that he saw that it went through the

Committee in record speed, I think that youíll see, at least from our house, that

itís going to go through the lower house, the Assembly, in record speed. And I

have that commitment that he is going to post the bill on the 12th. And I feel

very confident, based on the arguments that youíve made, and based on the

arguments and the very, very serious concerns that the residents have, that it will


So I appreciate your coming out tonight.


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: I just have a question, Mr.


Itís Ed, right?



ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: You made one statement that

EPA should be bringing this to the attention -- not the residents. I will tell you,

I think from the legislatorsí standpoint in this room, we donít care how the

information gets to us. And we certainly applaud the residents for bringing to

our attention.

I will tell you that Iím not an environmental expert. Iím Chairman

of the Assembly Budget Committee. Thatís where I was before I came here

today. And really, through the work of a lot of residents in Gloucester

Township -- a town that I donít represent -- and people like Bob Smith and

George Geist, who came to me and made this an issue-- And because, clearly,

there is a dollar component to it, I think they probably came to me, as

Chairman of the Budget Committee, to get involved.

The residents educate us. And we have this bad word, special interest

groups. Thereís really nothing wrong with special interest groups. Theyíre very

helpful to us. Environmental groups are special interest groups, and they

educate us, in a lot of ways, to these issues, because we couldnít know all these

things on our own.

I just have a question for you, and hopefully you can answer it

easily. Iím always-- I always find it interesting that when people buy and sell

their home, we do a radon test, and there are certain safe levels of radons in

homes. And if itís above a certain level, they have to do certain remediation

efforts in the house to lower the level of radon. But there is a safe level of

radon, supposedly. Thatís what they tell us. Again, Iím not an

environmentalist. I donít know.

MR. KNORR: Four picocuries.


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Okay. Thatís for radon?


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: When I look at your numbers

here, is there a safe level? Is there a national standard or a statewide standard?

Is there a safe level of picocuries?

MR. KNORR: Thatís a good question. Actually, the safe level for

radio -- is zero, because the basic thing that we would look--

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Is that achieveable, though?

MR. KNORR: Yes, it is achieveable. By putting the right systems

in the right places it is achieveable. If itís like-- GEMS can achieve that on-site.

Theyíll have to pay, but they can achieve it on-site, and thatís where it should

be done.

The thing we look at with these standards are-- Again, these

standards are based -- and we went through this on the private well testing bill --

on a 150-pound male, not on a child, not on a woman, not on someone taking


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: But zero, then, is our ultimate

goal, I guess. But is there a level thatís safe?

MR. KNORR: You know, there has been not much studies done

on what the practicality of applying anything over zero would mean to a

human, other than what I consider a fishbowl standard, which is something that

you just put your hand in a bowl and pick a number out. And, basically, thatís

how these studies are done. Weíre all in this room. We all have different

metabolisms for -- and take medication, or whatever. We donít know how

standards are. When itís zero, we know what they are. When thereís over that,


thereís a real concern. And as they build up-- The accumulative effect is,

probably, the most important consideration with any Superfund waste-leaving


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Iím sorry. Iíve been looking at

your chart as youíve been testifying, and I was just curious, because there are

lots of numbers up here. Iím just trying to relate it to some things that I do

know. Iím sorry. I appreciate your input.

Thank you, sir.


MR. KNORR: Thank you.

Do you want that left up there, or do you want me to take it?

(referring to chart)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: You can leave it there.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: It will give me more time to

read it.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Yeah, I know. (applause)

Before I call the next witness up, Iíd like to introduce our

Freeholder Director in Camden County, Jeffrey Nash. (applause)

I can tell you that between myself, and Jeff, and my office, and his

office, weíve had numerous telephone calls and conferences regarding issues such

as this, particularly over the last week or so. I mean, Jeff has been extremely

helpful. Heís been very supportive. Heís somebody that is very proactive when

it comes to environmental protection in Camden County, and I appreciate that.

The next individual Iíd like to introduce--


Is David Mayer still here? David Mayer is a former councilman in

Gloucester Township, and heís another individual that Iíve spent a lot of time

talking to on legislative issues, particularly as it relates to GEMS.

Dave, I just wanted to say hi and thank you for coming out tonight.

Charles Solomon.

Speaking of Federal legislators, Charles Solomon is from

Congressman Rob Andrewsí office. (applause)

C H A R L E S S O L O M O N: Good evening.

For the record, Mr. Chairman, Iím Charles Solomon, from

Congressman Andrewsí office -- and members of the Committee.

On behalf of Congressman Andrews, Iíd like to thank Assemblyman

Smith for calling the hearing.

Sharon Finlayson, Jane Nogaki, of the New Jersey Environmental

Federation; Cindy, from C.A.R.E.: On behalf of Congressman Andrews, weíd

like to thank you for educating our office, and also the constituents. As you

eluded to, this information is not readily available, and you guys put it out front

for everybody, for the community, for the papers, for everyone.

Iíd like to begin by stating the Congressmanís position, and that is

the court decision is wrong and that it should be appealed. The basis of the

appeal is, one, the court does not have the power to order the CCMUA to

accept GEMS waste. Secondly, tests were not sufficient to protect the public.

On the county level, the Congressman is hopeful that the freeholder

will appeal the courtís decision, and he will assist them in any way possible. On

the State level, he is in support, obviously, of Assembly Bill 3174, and would

strongly encourage the Assembly to adopt it as soon as possible. And on the


Federal level, he will do everything in his power, as he has done in the past, to

stop the EPA in this process.

I thank you for your time. Have a good evening.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you, Charles.

Debra Coyle, New Jersey Work Environment Council.

D E B R A C O Y L E: Good evening.

My name is Debra Coyle, and I represent the New Jersey Work

Environment Council, and Iím also a resident of Haddon Heights.

New Jersey Work Environment Council -- weíre a statewide alliance

of 65 unions, environmental and community groups. Together, we work for

safe, secure jobs, and a healthy sustainable environment. We have helped

advance the legal rights of workers and communities to know about toxics and

win important victories on environmental justice and workplace health issues.

My organization supports this bill for the reasons that, we believe

that CCMUA has never seriously considered the hazards posed to workers. In

fact, CCMUA managers said, publicly, that they never assess inhalation hazards

of radioactive sludge for workers, even though the sludge contains radium and

uranium that is carcinogenic. Ignoring the potential health consequences for

workers is inexcusable. They are the first to be exposed and are at greater risk

of suffering adverse health impacts.

This proposal is inadequate, unsafe, and unacceptable. Itís not

only a hazard for the workers at the CCMUA, it is a hazard for the community

the sewer lines run through, and, ultimately, devastating to our environment.

And, again, we support the Assembly bill.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you, Debra.


Any questions? (no response)

Sue Marks Brennan.

S U E M A R K S B R E N N A N: Good evening.


MS. MARKS BRENNAN: Iím the Director of a program in

Camden City known as Main Street. I was born and raised in the city of

Camden, and for the last 25 years, I have fought an environmental fight in this

county that I could probably write a book about.

But the first thing Iíd like to say tonight is, Iíd like to thank this

Committee for your insight into this problem. And we really do applaud your

efforts, Assemblyman Greenwald, Assemblyman Smith, and Senator Geist, now.

We do thank you for bringing it to the Legislature.

I would like to briefly say that the movement of contaminated

wastewater through six towns in Camden County is wrong, and it should be

stopped. And youíve heard the testimony, here, over and over again, tonight.

So Iím not going to give you all the points that youíve already heard.

The thing that I would like to stress is the role of Camden City in

all this. As I said, for the last 20 years, we have fought environmental injustice

in the city of Camden. We have had every undesirable project known to man

put into the city of Camden, and the health of the residents has been sold to the

highest bidder for at least 25 years.

To move this wastewater into Camden City is wrong, and those of

us that work in Camden City that are trying to correct some of the ills of the

past -- the environmental degradation, the economic development, all the things


that go along with the recovery of the city of Camden-- To have this wastewater

come into the city would -- dealt it a huge blow.

So I would like to say that I really do thank you for your efforts,

and Iím really glad to hear that the bill is going to be posted. Once again, the

health of the residents should not be for sale at any cost. And we look forward

to a success for this legislation.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you very much. (applause)

Karen Zawacki. Did I pronounce that correctly?

K A R E N Z A W A C K I: Yes.


MS. ZAWACKI: Thank you.

Iím here tonight to oppose another feel-good legislation that is

being offered to appease the public on a serious matter that should have been

addressed a long time ago. I am offended and outraged that this is the best this

Committee, who is supposed to look out for the best interest of our precious

natural resources, could do.

As I testified in November 2002, on the Resolution AR-203,

presented by then Assemblyman George Geist, this will not solve the problem

of toxic contamination in Gloucester Township and Camden County. The real

issue to bring forth is how EPA, DEP, and CCMUA are being allowed to break

State and Federal laws against the people you represent, and how the cost of the

cleanup is being hidden in our property taxes, municipal bills, and water bills.

Regarding the banning of any Superfund site being discharged into

our sewer system or streams, this is already too late. At a meeting with Dr.


Gerald Nichols of the DEP, I received confirmation that the radioactive

discharge from the Welsbach Superfund site in Gloucester City is already being

accepted by the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority. The damage to

the peopleís sewage system has already been done. Per Dr. Nichols, this was the

plan -- was always the plan. EPA officials misrepresented themselves when they

told the public that this was not going to happen.

Also, because of an agreement called the Global Decree, a Federal

judge allowed the Holly Run Stream, which leads to the Delaware River, to be

contaminated by GEMS Superfund site for years, while the criminals who did

this figured out how to make the system they built work. This agreement was

the brainchild of the DEP and was signed by Mayor Sandra Love, without the

consent of the Gloucester Township residents that she is supposed to represent.

I have been diligent for over a year, trying to get my representatives

to act on this, with enough documentation that shows how dangerous this plan

is to the peopleís health and welfare -- how the financial burden has been put

on the people instead of who actually did this -- how CCMUA has been noncompliant

with their sludge, which is supposed to be sold to bring down the cost

of this system for the people. This sludge has been burned in incinerators,

placed under our childrenís soccer fields, placed on turf farms, and God knows

where else.

Our sole source of drinking water, which is an aquifer under GEMS,

has not been monitored right. This was deemed a sole source aquifer by the

EPA in 1988, and is to be protected. Now all the focus is on the Delaware

River as our drinking water source, which the CCMUA is discharging into while

they are non-compliant. An emergency dumping of toxic waste was done in


February of this year, because the CCMUA could not handle it. Per the Clean

Water Act of 1980, the State is responsible for the peopleís asset, which is our

drinking source. Nothing has been said about that.

Assemblyman Smith, when I came to you in March to discuss this

bill, I told you this does not go far enough to protect my township. You asked

me specifically what I wanted, which is a full investigation of this

unconstitutional act. You promised that you would send a letter, with strong

wording, to our Federal and State representatives to step in and help. To this

date, I have heard nothing from you or these representatives. Why?

Where are the Camden County freeholders on this issue? They are

the ones that created the CCMUA. Another judge forced all the towns to accept

this regional system and to sign a service agreement, which in it states that if

anything should happen, the people of Camden County will be responsible for

the debt. The freeholders are responsible for the debt put on the people by

CCMUA. The freeholders, in turn, hid behind a resolution, recommended by

the New Jersey Environmental Federation, that will do nothing. How will you

know if the discharge is environmentally sound when there are no manifests

available to know what is actually in that Superfund site? By law, all manifests

must accompany the record of decision and this has not occurred for the GEMS

Superfund site.

Let me make you fully aware, as I told Congressman Robert

Andrews, that as per Federal U.S. Code, it is the peopleís right to know what

they are being exposed to. It is the Congressí responsibility to receive the full

plan on any Superfund site cleanup and make sure the people who will be


affected by this are aware of the full plan and agree with it. This was never done

at GEMS Superfund site, and it was never done at Welsbach.

This is a blatant infringement of our constitutional and civil rights.

Because of the devastation of Love Canal in New York, laws were put in place

to make sure this never happened again. Well, here we are in New Jersey, and

we have two perfect examples of Love Canal. History has repeated itself

because of more concern of special interest groups than the people who will be

truly affected by it.

If this Committee wants to really represent the people, they should

present legislation that will investigate this injustice towards the people done by

our Federal environmental agency, and why the Congress was left out of its duty

to the people to present these full plans. The DEP, CCMUA, and the Camden

County Freeholders, with recommendations from Sierra Club and the New

Jersey Environmental Federation -- who thought this was a good idea on how

to clean up toxic sites -- should be held accountable for the actions they took

against the people for not truly informing us. EPA should finance an

independent study on both GEMS and Welsbach to prove to the people that

these cleanups are safe, and the monitoring systems that they choose. CCMUA

should be investigated to make sure the people know the full financial and

environmental impact this has caused the system accepting radioactive waste

from Welsbach.

The people are running out of time. As their property values

decrease, the health insurance increases, and through certain taxes and bonds are

being forced to pay for this -- all are being put on their shoulders. Also, our

childrenís health and future are in jeopardy. If the true issues are not looked at


now, correctly, there will be no future for our children. The legacy they will be

left with is a toxic wasteland.

Shame on all who have allowed this to happen, but shame on you

if you feel this bill is the best you can do for the people. It is time to stand up

for the people. We, the people, are held accountable for everything we do. It

is now time for the people to hold accountable all who have put us in the

serious condition environmentally and financially, because we had a right to

know. Itís now time to do the right thing.

Thank you. (applause)

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: What you want us to do is

introduce a legislation to call on Congress to impose an investigation against


MS. ZAWACKI: To investigate, yes. This is how we need to do

it. This is a Superfund, this is Congress. There are U.S. laws, this is a Federal

law. This is not county, this is not State. This is Federal, and this should be

taken care of. There are laws there that the EPA must tell the people.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: I understand. We can sit back

and-- That resolution, basically, does nothing, in all honesty, for the people

here. Congress knows that we want this cleaned up. Itís not a secret on

anybody. Itís the reason why thereís a lawsuit, quite frankly. The residents

have been very vocal about it.

We donít, as a government in the State of New Jersey, have any

authority over the Federal government, as youíre probably aware. So we can

sign a fancy piece of paper, and send it to Congress, and ask them to start an

investigation. But it doesnít require them to start an investigation.


This legislation, as I understand it-- Our purpose, as Senator Geist

and the people up here -- is try to help the taxpayers. I think we all agree with

you. Any type of carcinogens in this water is unacceptable to all of us. The

purpose of this legislation is to try to help the taxpayers, and to find a source to

clean up the cost of this contaminated water and not put that burden directly

on one community.

Again, Iím here as Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee,

to make sure-- The first goal, I think, is to get the money from the Trust. And

if the Trust, as Senator Geist, I think, has so adequately pointed out, canít be

trusted, and we have to bust that Trust, we want to make sure there are other

avenues of access for these funds. As Chairman of the Assembly Budget

Committee, I am committed, with the people on this Committee, to help find

those funds.

So I disagree with you when you say that this is a worthless piece

of legislation. Itís not frivolous at all. I donít think $5 million to the people of

this community, and the surrounding communities, is frivolous at all.

We can put in paperwork to promote a resolution to the Federal

government. Weíve all sent letters, I think, to our congressional representatives,

and maybe what we should do is send it to the entire congressional delegation

for the State of New Jersey, because I think, as Mr. Tittel pointed out, itís more

than just this one site in New Jersey. Itís, really, a statewide issue. And maybe

it should be investigated. But this is a start in the right direction. And I think

our goal--

I just want to make clear, I donít think this is frivolous at all,

because I donít think the taxpayers and their concerns are frivolous on this.


MS. ZAWACKI: Iím not saying itís frivolous. Iím saying itís still

fluff. Youíre still putting the tax burden on the people to clean these up. And

itís time that we stand up and take a full look at what is going on with the EPA,

and the DEP, and the CCMUA regarding the toxic waste sites.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: And I donít disagree with you

that we need to look at what the DEP is doing, and how the CCMUA is

handling this. But my goal is to make sure this doesnít fall on one community.

And right now, the direction this was going -- I think before these people got

involved -- it was headed down the throats of one community.

MS. ZAWACKI: Which community is that?

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Well, Gloucester Township.

MS. ZAWACKI: Why would Gloucester Township be involved

with that?

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: I donít know, youíd have to tell

me. That was how they approached us. The concern was to make sure that this

did not fall on the taxpayers of one community. Because if the Trust wasnít

available, and there wasnít an emphasis to find money in the State or through

other avenues -- whether itís through a Federal grant, or other programs, or to

go after the polluters themselves -- someone was going to have to -- the

community was going to demand that this be cleaned up.

MS. ZAWACKI: Oh, I believe the community has been demanding

the cleanup for years.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Maíam, the point is that we --

our goal was to make sure that this not fall on one community. And thatís the


only point I wanted to make out. This is not fluff. It is not fluff to say that this

should not fall on the backs of one community.

MS. ZAWACKI: Well, it should never fall on the backs of the


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Then you should be supporting

the legislation.

MS. ZAWACKI: No, why should I? Because all itís basically

doing is-- Youíre not looking at the true issues of whatís going on.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Youíre saying the true issue is

to go after the Federal DEP.

MS. ZAWACKI: Itís to find-- Yes, to break--

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: We donít have that authority.

MS. ZAWACKI: I told you to dissolve the Global Decree a long

time ago, to get rid of the Trust and put it back on the--

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: You and I have never spoken.

MS. ZAWACKI: Well, Iíve told Robert Smith.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Okay, you and I have never

spoken. So if you would like to speak with me, you are more than welcome to.

But I take exception when you suggest that this is fluff, because I donít believe

that protecting one community, and making sure that if this burden has to be

addressed, that it is spread in a more wide breast, that we attack this issue on

a global sense-- And part of that may be moving forward with DEP, but that

is not something that the State of New Jersey has the authority to investigate --

the Federal DEP, and to make that suggestion, that we can, is inappropriate.

We donít have that authority. We donít have that police power.


MS. ZAWACKI: Then who does?

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: The Federal government. You

need to contact your congress people. And youíve heard today from a

representative from Congressman Andrewsí office. He is supportive of this, and

I think heís supportive of reviewing the Federal DEP. But you need more than

Congressman Andrews. Thatís why I think, as I said earlier, we should contact

the entire Federal delegation.

And we would appreciate your support.

MS. ZAWACKI: Thank you.


Michael Hopkins.

M I C H A E L H O P K I N S: Good evening.

Michael Hopkins, 821 Hudson Street, Gloucester City, New Jersey.

Iíve been following the GEMS Landfill for over a year now. Iím

very concerned, number one, for all the people, not the Federation, not

anybody, but all the people.

Iíve been to meetings at the CCMUA plant, where a Dr. Nichols

said, for a 150 pound man, it would be safe--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Michael, if you will, I allowed Karen

some leeway in testifying. We are here, tonight, to testify about A-3174 -- the

public policy aspect of that bill -- so if you would -- they call it, in the

Assembly, stick to the bill.

MR. HOPKINS: Oh, okay.


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Stick to the bill. I donít care about the

CCMUA and the Camden County freeholders. I want to talk about this bill,

and the public policy behind that.

MR. HOPKINS: The bill, I think, basically, should be passed to

keep it on-site and treat it on-site. Itís sad to say that the people of Gloucester

Township are being exposed to it first. Thatís very sad.

The thing about the GEMS Trust, which I donít think Iíve heard

at any of the meetings, has been the amount of money thatís in the Trust, if

thereís even any money left in the Trust -- whether itís small, or whether itís

large. I think that has to be addressed first, as far as the cleanup of it -- with not

letting it come through the sewer systems.

And I hear Mr. Greenwald saying how that seems to be a concern

now about--

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: I heard it for the first time, here,

tonight, as well, from Senator Geist. So weíre, obviously, going to look into


MR. HOPKINS: Right. About the cost -- the amount of money

that could be involved with the treatment on-site, which I think has to be done.

Specifically, I have to say -- Iím in Gloucester City, which is now

another Superfund site. Iíve lived there my whole life. And the sad thing is, I

can say, in our community, weíre not informed by our own representatives or

politicians. I attend the freeholdersí meetings. You donít seem to get any

answers from the freeholders. We have a freeholder thatís on the board --

doesnít know anything. "Contact Bush." That was my answer.


Well, you know what? I have to say, thatís really sad to say,

because a lot of people are going to be exposed, if this is transported. And even

on-site are going to be exposed to many different health hazards, many health

concerns. I think that has to be looked at.

Now, Iím under the understanding, in Gloucester City, that weíre

dumping into the sewer system right now, and thatís through the DEP. So I

have to say that draws great concern, because a lot of this is going to have a lot

of bounce back to the people, to the operators, to the handlers, to the CCMUA,

to a lot of the people, and thatís the sad thing.

And, you know, as you look around, you see your own children,

and you wonder, what are they going to be exposed to if this happens? It should

be treated on-site. The people should be kept informed. The Trust should have

to disclose the amount of money that they have.

Mr. Greenwald, I think thatís part of your thing.

That would be the thing. Let the people know whatís involved

there. We pay for the CCMUA, which we really donít know what the CCMUA

does, except handle the waste. Thereís many towns involved, and I think that

should be considered and looked at.

As you go out, maybe you should take a ride -- go over and take a

look at this landfill over here in Gloucester Township. Thereís many in Camden

County. And talking to people, you find out thereís many more. We donít

know, specifically, how many more sites will have to be cleaned up in the next

couple of years, because years ago, when they dumped articles and different

waste-- We donít know what they dumped. They donít know what they


dumped. But the sad thing is, it always falls back to the taxpayer, it falls back

to the people, it falls back to the children.

But the sad thing is-- You know, really, what I have the hardest

thing with? Itís just not us that are being exposed, itís you, itís your family, itís

your children, itís everybody. And thatís the part that I have the hardest thing --

how people can let it happen.

So I would just say, keep it on-site, treat it on-site, look into it, find

out whatís in the Trust, and they should not be able to keep their documents

closed anymore.

Thank you for your time.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you, Michael. (applause)

Sharon Finlayson, New Jersey Environmental Federation.

S H A R O N F I N L A Y S O N: Iím going to wait until some of the

residents speak.


I have Matthew -- canít make out the -- W-O-J-C-- Matthew, what

is your last name, sir?

M A T T H E W P. W O J C I E C H O W S K I: Wojciechowski.

(indicating pronunciation)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Beautiful, thank you.

MR. WOJCIECHOWSKI: My name is Matthew Wojciechowski.

I live in Gloucester Township, New Jersey. Iíve been a Camden County resident

since 1971. I lived in Pennsauken for 19 years. I now live in Erial, New Jersey,

for the last 12 years. I moved to this area because I was told the GEMS Landfill

was capped and safe. Now itís not safe. Now weíre dumping water into the


lakes. Now, also, the waterís going to be dumped into Camden sewer lines to

be treated in Camden.

I drive through Camden every morning going to Philadelphia. I

smell Camden treatment water plant every morning. Now, the poor people in

Camden-- I couldnít live there because of that smell. Now theyíre going to get

all this radioactive waste in their city.

Now, I know that New Jersey wants to revitalize Camden City.

Now, if youíre going to have a smelly city, itís going to be hard to revitalize.

But if youíre going to have a contaminated city, itís going to be impossible to

revitalize. So you might as well send your revitalization money to Newark, or

Trenton, or some other -- Atlantic City, or whatever -- because youíre wasting

your money sending it to Camden.

Now, you say you canít do anything about the Federal property

where the site is. New Jersey State-- Donít you own the property around

GEMS? I propose we put tons of dirt around GEMS Landfill and let them

drown in their own water. Maybe theyíll stop pumping into our lakes.

(applause) And I have a shovel in my garage, and Iíll help you. (laughter)

Now, I look at the different politicians. They seem to be pushing

things around. And Iím wondering whoís Democrat, whoís Republican, and I

wonder which side youíre standing on. I hope the people that I elect to office

are going to look out for the public health of the New Jersey residents. And I

hope that in years to come, that I canít say, "Well, so-and-so or so-and-so voted

to contaminate Camden, the sewer water lines in my township." And I think

my property taxes (sic) are going to go down, and I think Iíll have to sell now to

make a profit on my property, because I donít think those people up in New


York, near Love Canal, can sell their homes now. I hope we donít have a

catastrophe like they had up there.

So Iím concerned. If you can treat the waste on-site and stop it

from being pumped into Camden-- Now, I understand thereís a $1.7 million

connection fee between GEMS and the Camden County CCMUA. Well, if they

havenít made the connection fee yet, thereís $1.7 million right there you can

work with.


Matthew, I appreciate your testimony.

The reason why weíre here tonight is for the purpose of trying to

establish a solid record for support of the bill, which stands for the proposition

that we should not be pumping this type of waste through our sewer systems in

Camden County. I mean, thatís the sole purpose of being here -- is to establish

that record. So I appreciate your coming here and testifying to that effect.

MR. WOJCIECHOWSKI: And if we can keep from pumping, Iím

all for it.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Yes, thatís what this bill is all about.

Thank you. (applause)

Cindy Rau-Hatton.

C I N D Y R A U - H A T T O N: Good evening.

My name is Cindy Rau-Hatton. I live here in Gloucester Township.

Iím a member of the C.A.R.E. Organization, which stands for Citizens Against

a Radioactive Environment. Weíre a citizens group that wants to keep residents

of Gloucester Township and Camden County informed of this issue. And Iíd

like to publicly thank the New Jersey Environmental Federation, and the other


environmental groups, because theyíve done such tremendous work on getting

the information out there, and weíve learned a lot from them, and -- where we

should be learning from DEP and EPA.

C.A.R.E. does support--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Cindy, if you could, just try to raise

your voice a little bit.


C.A.R.E. does support A-3174, and we also supported Resolution

203. We testified in Trenton at the Committee hearings in support of that, and

we look forward to this moving forward.

This issue has been going on for a year. And itís, kind of, grown

and grown, that all factions -- including environmental organizations; sewer

workers; citizens; all levels of government, from councils all the way up to

Congressman Andrews -- have been trying to be very proactive on this issue, and

express our concerns to EPA and DEP about being proactive on this, and

looking long-term on what the implications of this project could mean for the

next 30 years.

I had the opportunity to sit in court and observe the proceedings

two weeks ago. And I think the feelings of the Trust was summed up in this

sentence by one of their attorneys. "The concerns of the public does not

override the regulatory process."

And I think itís made very clear what all the problems are. If I

could just hit on a few, most of them have been covered. This is long-term. Itís

a 30-year project with 200,000 gallons of wastewater being pumped out of

there, daily. EPA, DEP cannot give us a 100-percent guarantee that the public,


the environment, the sewer workers will be guaranteed safety at all times.

Thereís too many what-ifs along this 30-year project. Thatís a very great

concern. It should be a concern to the State, because, as Mr. Knorr said, youíre

going to be having this project dumped in your laps in 10 years.

So weíll continue to fight this. I donít think itís over. Weíre going

to continue to stay involved. And I thank you for the opportunity of letting me

speak tonight.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you, Cindy. (applause)

Did you have a question?


Guys, donít walk away, because some of us have questions on this.

We are learning.

MS. RAU-HATTON: Iím sorry.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Cindy, I want to thank you,

because youíve been an advocate for this from the beginning and helped educate

us, as well.

I think the legislation is very important, now more than ever,

because of the point that you made in watching the court case. It sends a very

clear message that the State is diametrically opposed to the finding of that court

decision. We believe this should not be piped through the towns of Camden

County or South Jersey, for that matter, and end up in the aquifers of the state.

So I think-- I appreciate your support and your insight into this

matter, and the hard work that youíve spent on this for years now. And the

community should recognize that.

Thank you.


MS. RAU-HATTON: I appreciate that.

But I think whatís also frustrating, when I -- when me and other

residents -- because weíre lay people at this. Iím learning along the way. There

is a solution. We know that on-site treatment, and containment, and reinjecting

cleansed water back into GEMS is a solution. And it just seems the bottom line

is about money. And I just-- I know itís a difficult situation, but you just canít

put a price tag on the environment, and workers, and our citizens as a whole --

and 10, 15, 20 years from now something awful happens, and say, "Well, we

should have done this. We could have." And weíre going to find it as a bad

page in history. So I think thatís a frustrating part, too. I just hope everybody

will prevail in this.


MS. RAU-HATTON: Thank you. (applause)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Jane and Rodger Nogaki.

R O D G E R N O G A K I: Did you say Jane or Rodger?


J A N E N O G A K I: Weíre going up together. (laughter)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: I figured youíre husband and wife,

youíre the same coalition, weíll testify together, right? (applause)

MS. NOGAKI: Ladies first, right?


MS. NOGAKI: Jane Nogaki, Coalition Against Toxics.

A lotís been said already. We are fully in support of the legislation,

and we do think that this is an action of the State, to stop this project dead in

its tracks. Much as the way, about 10 years ago, Ciba-Geigy was undergoing a


lot of scrutiny because they had a pipeline that extended under neighborhoods

10 miles out, from Toms River out to Lavallette and off-shore. And they were

dumping treated waste, pre-treated through their wastewater treatment plant,

into the ocean. Prior to that, they had been dumping in the Toms River. They

contaminated the river, so they switched to dumping in the ocean.

The residents -- when the pipes started breaking and bubbling up

in peopleís backyards and contaminating their wells, the residents, who would

never have even known that this was going on under their neighborhoods,

rallied, formed organizations, and passed a law that said there could be no

direct industrial discharge into the ocean. It was the only industrial pipeline

into the ocean. It was closed by the Legislature -- not by the EPA, not by the

DEP -- by an act of the Legislature. And, just as the private well-testing bill was

passed by the Legislature -- not by the DEP, not by the EPA -- we think itís very

appropriate for this Legislature to take action, in the same way they did, in

1986, when they passed a law that required drinking water contaminants that

were carcinogens to be set at the level to expose no more than one additional

cancer case in a million.

They set that goal. When you set a risk standard, the general risk

the EPA sets is a range of one in 10,000 -- one additional case in 10,000 people

-- to one in a million. They rarely get to that more stringent level of one in a

million. This radionuclide is not one in a million standard. Itís one in 10,000

-- one additional case in 10,000. The maximum contaminant goal for EPA is

zero radiation in drinking water. But theyíve actually set the standard at 15

picocuries, which is a one in 10,000 risk of cancer.


When you say, "Is there a safe level of radon in a home?" -- no,

there isnít really any safe level. Theyíve set this five or four picocuries, because

itís just above whatís typically found as background, and they canít really go

below background. And thatís how theyíve set this radium standard, as well.

Many places, they find the radium at three picocuries in groundwater, but not

everywhere in New Jersey.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Jane, on the Toms River

precedent, was there Federal court cases challenging that law?



MS. NOGAKI: In fact, Ciba-Geigy is still finishing up itís cleanup,

because they closed off the pipeline. Then they had to figure out, where will

they send their wastewater. The treatment that they have come up with is to

treat on-site and reinject it back into groundwater.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Just what weíre talking.

MS. NOGAKI: Just what weíre talking about. And I think itís an

appropriate remedy: containment; treat it to the best level that you can to

groundwater standards, which are, basically, drinking water standards; put it

back into the ground. You keep recycling, pumping, and treating, and cleaning.

Youíre not spreading it out, youíre containing it under the site, and youíre not

releasing contaminants to any other medium. And thatís the best treatment.

I think New Jersey should be the first to say weíre going to go for

whatís right.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Weíre doing our best.


MS. NOGAKI: I appreciate that.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Rodger, did you have anything to add?

MR. NOGAKI: I just wanted to say a couple of things.

First, like Jane -- weíre both founding members of the Coalition

Against Toxics. We are also, both, founding members of the Ellis Site Task

Force, which is a citizensí Superfund oversight group in Evesham Township, to

oversee and to, letís say, stimulate the DEP and the EPA into taking the proper

actions in the cleanup at Evesham.

So I applaud this Assembly group for having the courage to take

this responsible position in encouraging the cleanup of GEMS at GEMS. But,

you know, cleanup is not just the water. You want to find the source of the

problem and clean that up, because like at Evesham, we have a pump-and-treat

system going on over there. And we have studied this over the past few years

that weíve been running this pump and treat. And we find that the pump-andtreat

system is not working, and itís a 30-year pump-and-treat system. It could

take 100 years, it could take 200 years, it could go on forever if you donít get

to the source of the problem.

So, what our citizens group has done is, we have found -- we are

seeking new technologies to enhance the cleanup and find the source of the

problem, and get the source of the problem cleaned out of the ground so that it

does not contaminate the aquifer. And I think that thatís something that,

eventually, youíre going to have to look at, at GEMS, because you just canít

keep on doing the cheap thing today, because tomorrow itís going to be a heck

of a lot more expensive than it is today. And itís going to cost people their lives.


And I think what youíre seeing tonight-- I mean, Iíve listened to

some of the folks that have come down here. The people here are discouraged

because of what the legal system has said that they have to do. Theyíre

discouraged because the CCMUA, who is supposed to be the group that really

oversees and protects their interests -- theyíre not doing that. Theyíre looking

for the cheap way out. Theyíre looking for some extra source of income, and

theyíre forgetting that theyíre affecting the health -- the mental health of the

community. And I think that thatís whatís being affected now.

So I think that the important thing is that you folks have the

courage to take the first step in the right direction. I think thereís additional

steps that have to be found, to cure the problem and not just contain the water

on-site, but to find the source of the problem, clean it up, and help the

community heal, both physically and mentally.

So thank you for taking this first, courageous step.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you, Rodger. Thank you, Jane.


Roxane Shinn.

R O X A N E C. S H I N N: My name is Roxane Shinn. Iím a resident of

Cherry Hill, in Camden County, and I have these comments:

South Jersey residents should not -- should be able to trust that their

local water system is not contaminated with radioactive wastes. The GEMS

Landfill, once the last stop for toxic sludge from a waste treatment plant in

Northeast Philadelphia, and ranked 12th among the 546 worst Superfund sites

in the nation, should not be allowed to use the Camden County sewer system

to clean up its mess on the cheap.


Assemblyman Lou Greenwald got it right when he said, "It is absurd

to think that radioactive water can be transported safely through the local sewer

system or dumped into a stream and not harm the surrounding waterways or,

more importantly, people." Senator George Geist was also right when he said,

"The residents donít trust the Trust," and, "wonder why there isnít enough

money already to construct an on-site treatment facility."

The cozy cadre of the Trust: the EPA, CCMUA, and New Jersey

DEP, continue to promote putting radioactive water in the sewer, despite

widespread public opposition. Now residents donít trust the regulators. And

why should we? These are the very parties who permitted GEMS in the first

place, who failed miserably to monitor and prevent it from becoming a

Superfund site, and who came up with this dilution solution to pollution. They

were biased against alternative treatment plans from the beginning and have

unclean hands. The polluters donít want to pay more, and the regulators claim

they have no authority to require them to treat and clean up this Superfund

wastewater on the site.

The peopleís elected representatives have to give them the authority

and the mandate to clean GEMS water on-site. The Assembly cannot rely on

Camden County to promote the public interest. Camden County Freeholder

Director, Jeff Nash, says he is also against the plan, but the countyís lawyer

raised not one objection to the discharge of radioactive water at the last hearing

before a Federal judge last month. CCMUA, a creature of Camden County,

concocted this scheme with the Superfund polluters and accepted a prepayment

connection fee of $1.7 million before holding a public hearing on the plan. This


payment assured that the county would remain biased and an advocate of this


So itís now up to our local elected leaders -- U.S. Representative

Rob Andrews; Senator John Adler; Senator George Geist; Assemblyman Rob

Smith, and Mr. Greenwald -- to get the New Jersey Assembly to require a safer

alternative, on-site treatment and reinjection of cleansed groundwater, and to

get the Assembly Speaker to post it for a floor vote.

Today, you have heard, again and again, the commonsense

arguments against this project and against this concept of using sewer systems

to delete big pollution problems. So please remember a few key concepts as you

begin your fight to get this through the Legislature.

The GEMS cleanup is now about one thing: money. The polluters

donít want to pay, and the regulatory agencies canít make them. The GEMS

Trust knows it can clean up radionuclides at the site without great deal of

additional costs. There are lots of cost-effective solutions. What they donít

want to do is spend additional funds to clean up the remaining non-nuclear

pollutants: nutrients, ammonia, and solids in the landfillís water; pollutants that

are in too high a concentration to discharge into adjacent surface waters without

additional treatment.

You should not let them discharge radioactive waste into the sewers,

and you should not let them discharge non-nuclear Superfund wastes either.

The solution to pollution is not dilution, and the Assembly needs to pass this

bill to establish point source treatment as State policy for hazardous waste sites.

There are many things you could do in this bill, or a complement

bill, to deal with the concern about your authority to supersede a Federal


consent order. The bill should clearly state, as one of its purposes, the

Assemblyís intent to improve both the quality and reliability of Superfund

cleanups, and to avoid the accidental or indirect spreading of low-level

radioactive wastes into the environment.

Thus, in addition to banning such discharges into municipal

wastewater treatment works, the bill could require all landfills to monitor their

effluents and discharges for radionuclides, especially Radium 226 and 228, at

least quarterly; and by New Jersey DEP at least twice yearly on an unannounced

basis; and to require DEP to post the results of this sampling on its Web site.

Testing takes time with several weeks passing between sampling and getting

back results from independent labs.

This bill, or another bill, should require municipal water facilities

to monitor their own discharges and sludge for radioactive nuclides at least twice

a year, and at least quarterly when the levels monitored exceed the standards

proposed by CCMUA, the drinking water standard of five picocuries per liter,

for receiving GEMS discharge.

This bill, or another bill, should also require wastewater facilities

to trace the source of any radioactive waste that is causing the standard to be

exceeded, and to require the wastewater facility to disconnect the discharges

when the standard has been violated. The penalties should be high for

violations. Polluters who succeed -- exceed the standards should only be able

to reconnect after payment of a substantial fine and after DEP certification that

an appropriate cleanup and control technology has been installed at the

dischargerís site to treat the radioactive waste to the standard level.


These are not idle concerns. In May 1994, the U.S. General

Accounting Office described the "Action Needed to Control Radioactive

Contamination at Sewage Treatment Plants," and recommended that the NRC

determine the extent of elevated levels of radionuclide materials at publicly

owned treatment works, and establish acceptable limits for radioactive materials

in sewage sludge and ash. In 1996, the Association of Metropolitan Sewer

Agencies conducted a confidential voluntary survey of concentrations of

radioactive materials in some of its membersí sewer sludges and ashes, and

found significant levels of potassium and radium isotopes. Based on the

limitations of the AMSA survey, the NRC and EPA decided to jointly fund a

survey of sewage sludges and ash to assess the potential need for NRC and EPA

rulemaking. Unfortunately, this study is not complete, and we do not know

how bad CCUMAís sludge is.

CCMUAís own consultant, while recommending accepting the

radioactive water, found that, "Sludge disposal to land is the greatest risk

exposure because of the four millirems per year exposure suggested by the U.S.

Department of Energy Oak Ridge Study," and "When additional data becomes

available, these results may be reviewed and modified accordingly."

This bill, or another bill, should require DEP and New Jerseyís

treatment works to publish the results of any radioactive sludge, water, or sludge

ash testing that has, or will, be conducted, and should require DEP to establish

standards limiting the amount of radioactivity that may be present in any

sewage sludge, before it can be disposed on land as fertilizer or incinerated. It

could also direct DEP to establish regulations setting standards for handling


radioactive sludge as a fertilizer, or for handling the incineration of radioactive

sludge and its resultant ash.

Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you. (applause)

MS. SHINN: I have a copy with the footnotes, in case you want


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Yes, thank you.

Linda Musser, is it? C.A.R.E., Citizens Against a Radioactive


L I N D A M U S S E R: Linda Musser, Gloucester Township.

I am in full support of the legislation that is being proposed. I am

very happy to hear that it will be moving forward on June 12. I attended the

hearing during the ice storm back in March, and Iím glad to see that it is going

to move forward.

One of the points that Iíd like to bring out tonight is, on the 19th

of May, I attended the CCMUA meeting, and I had learned that there had been

an upset at the CCMUA back in February, March of this year. There was a

rainstorm that washed out the tanks, and itís a microbiological process. And it

did not meet the standards, and this water was discharged into the Delaware

River, and it did not recover for three weeks. So it was discharged into the river,

untreated, for three weeks.

Aside from the radionuclides -- regarding GEMS -- aside from the

radionuclides, other contaminants of concern are being discharged from the

landfill at very high levels of contamination. As a result, it would add a


consistent and persistent burden to the Delaware River. This would be made

even worse if the pre-treatment failed at GEMS.

I guess the point that Iíd like to make is, if I had not heard about

this -- the CCMUA was not forthright in bringing this to the attention of the

public. There was no public notification regarding the upset. Iím sure they did

file-- Theyíre required to file reports with the DEP, but the burden to find out

is -- the people were trying to find out as much information as we can, and I

think that the point that needs to be made here is, if something like this were to

happen at GEMS, it could really be disastrous. And thatís why Iím glad that we

are moving forward with this legislation. And I hope that the publicís interest

is always forthright and foremost.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you very much.

MS. MUSSER: Thank you. (applause)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Okay, Sharon Finlayson.

MS. FINLAYSON: Thank you.

Iím Sharon Finlayson. I chair the New Jersey Environmental

Federation. I live in Camden County. I live in Pennsauken.

I wanted to go last tonight for a reason. Iím sure all of you are

familiar with the editorial that appeared today in the Courier Post. The Courier

Post opinion page quoted the judge -- and itís part of his decision -- something

that the judge said. He said, "There is no basis for concluding that the pretreated

effluent of the GEMS Landfill site will pose any risk to the residents of

Gloucester Township or of Camden."

I wanted to sit here tonight and listen to the points that the

residents made, the members of the citizen groups, the environmentalists, the


worker representatives. And I wrote down some of those points, and I wanted

to go through them, because, really, the points that these people have made

speak to the significance of the bill that is before us. It is so important for this

bill to become a tool that the State can use, not just here in Camden County,

but throughout the state, as a way to protect their neighborhoods, their

environment, their drinking water sources. It is extremely important.

We heard some different things. One is, we heard that thereís a lack

of trust in the body that is overseeing the project. Weíve heard that many times

before. We will hear it again in the future. We need a bill that will keep those

types of bodies in line and that will ensure protection for the bill.

Weíve heard the question, where is the money? Weíve heard the

issue of environmental justice, and the discharge of another pollutant, another

pollution burden, into the city of Camden -- into an area, by the way, that I

believe has just been renovated, and people fish from that pier.

Weíve heard about frustrations of governing bodies who want to do

the best to clean up and feel stymied in their efforts. These are individuals from

the Federal government on down to the county level, local level, township, who

are saying, "We want the best thing done there. We want to do the right thing.

Our hands are tied."

We heard a water utility company whoís come up here and talked

about their concerns and the cost of treating radium at treatment plants. There

is a treatment plant in Jamesburg. And Gloria has talked about the expense to

try to treat the radium there.

We heard from Ed Knorr who says, "Does the EPA hold itself to a

lesser standard?" And that is, sort of, the question that all of us have been


asking for the past year, and probably many years before that. He also brought

up the fact that the polluter takes advantage and places the burden on the

people. And over and over again, as far as this project goes, weíve been

reminded that in 10 years, the State will take over the responsibility for this

project. And in 10 years, who knows where we will be? It could be that we will

be spending many, many more millions of dollars than the five million that was

quoted today in the paper.

We talked about-- We heard about, what is a protective standard?

Are the standards of today going to be the so-called protective standards of

tomorrow? Obviously, they will not. As technology becomes better, we try to

do better, as far as capture. We saw that recently with the big debate over

arsenic, and what was the original standard, and what should it be today. Weíre

looking at it with many other issues, including dioxins and the radiums.

We heard about the cumulative effect of radioactive isotopes, and

looked at the numbers of picocuries and liters in a 200,000 gallon daily

discharge -- what it means when that discharge goes through the lines. What are

the roots of exposure? For instance, there could be leaks, there could be settling

and sediments in the lines. There could be exposure to workers.

We heard about the toxic cocktail, and the combination of toxins,

and what would that impact be. As a matter of fact, you might remember that

some months ago, in an article in the Courier Post, a professor -- I believe it was

from Temple -- was interviewed. And her response to just how -- what is the

interaction, what is the synergy of those toxins as they mix in the sewer line?

And she said that really was an unknown. It could be a very dangerous


unknown, and it could happen at any time. We could go years and not see a

reaction, or we could have one tomorrow. So that is really a concern.

There was also a question about whether there is a safe level of

radon. Ed said that there is no safe level. I wanted to remind you that, in fact,

the EPA goal is zero for radon, or for radioactive isotopes, alpha emitters. And

I happen to have, here, the Haddon Heights Consumer Confidence Report. And

I wanted to bring this up because, throughout this whole debate, we keep

hearing, from people who are supportive of this plan, that we are drinking these

drinking water standards for radium and uranium every day -- that theyíre

coming out of our taps. And, in fact, thatís simply not the case.

Haddon Heights measures their alpha emitters, in picocuries per

liter, in a range from .22 picocuries per liter to 3.6. Thatís nowhere near the five

picocuries standard. And they also list their maximum contaminant level goal

as zero.

So I think we need to, sort of, dispel that impression that weíre

getting -- weíre all drinking this radium and uranium every single day. Weíre


The other thing I wanted to, very quickly, bring up -- if I have it

with me -- itís right here -- is that this isnít-- The concern about whether we

have radioactive isotopes in our drinking water supplies is not an isolated issue,

and itís not an isolated problem. On April 25, in the legal notices,

Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission wanted to notify the public that

they had levels of gross alpha above drinking water standards and were making

efforts to remedy the situation.


So people say, "Well, why is it of concern if youíre getting it to a

so-called drinking water standard?" The concern is that weíre continuing to add

this burden -- this pollution burden to our drinking water sources.

And I also wanted to remind you that in the study done for

CCMUA, by DeMaximus -- I think it is on Page 21 -- they say that there is no

safe level of exposure to radiation. It is in the report done for CCMUA.

We also heard that there are Federal concerns from Rob Andrewsí

aide, and that they are committed to assisting in stopping this GEMS flow.

We heard from the Work Environmental Council that the CCMUA

has not seriously considered health impact to workers.

Weíve heard concerns about the quality of cleanup and who will

pay, and I wanted to just add to that, that we all know that taxpayers will

always pay. Either we will pay with our dollars, or weíre going to pay with our


And we also heard a question about what are people asking for?

Are people calling for the right cleanup? And I think that it isnít an issue of

whether people have been calling for the cleanup. People have been consistently

calling for GEMS to be cleaned up, and other Superfund sites to be cleaned up.

I think the question lies in, what is the acceptable quality of cleanup? And

thatís really where weíre at with this, and what your bill will help to remedy.

What is the quality that we should accept? We should accept only the best.

We also heard from Mike, from Gloucester City, about his own

Superfund site and the fact that theyíre, now, moving the treated wastewater

from that site, which was originally going through a swimming pool pipe and

into the Newton Creek through that CCMUA -- or through the sewer lines. And


I wanted to bring that up, because it demonstrates how quickly these types of

practices are adopted, and that itís one more source of radioactive isotopes into

our sewers, our sludge, and the Delaware River.

And speaking of sludge -- before you cut me off -- I just wanted to

bring up the solid waste -- the latest draft for the Statewide Solid Waste

Management Plan, which addresses -- one section of it addresses sludge. And

it is going to be a policy of the State to, now, encourage the reuse of sludge

throughout the state, bearing in mind that there is no true treatment for uranium

at either site -- either the pre-treatment site at GEMS, or at the CCMUA. They

are simply testing, and theyíre going to see if it goes above the acceptable

standard. At such time that they know it goes above the acceptable standard,

theyíll decide that they will then address it.

Theyíre actually, at CCMUA, relying upon the sludge to attract,

because radioactive isotopes are attracted to solids. They are relying upon the

sludge to attract these isotopes. The sludge will then go to either a turf farm in

the summer, which has been the history, and where itís land applied, or it will

be burned in an incinerator. If itís burned in an incinerator, it will come out as

a radioactive isotope and, simply, move into the -- through the air. So this is a

problem that must be addressed if weíre going to be applying sludge in the State

and, actually, promoting it.

They also talk about the issue of radionuclides in sludge, as well as

mercury dioxins and some other contaminants. But thatís-- We need-- This

goes beyond just right here.


The other things we heard about were real estate values. One

gentleman brought up the real estate value of his house, and questions what that

value, now, is. And thatís a strong concern.

Again, there was an attitude of the Trust, and that-- And I thought

the quote from Cindy was great. I was at that hearing, as well. "The concerns

of the citizens do not override the regulatory process." We are the citizens.

This is where we live. We have every right to express concern and do what we

need to do in order to make this the best remedy.

Jane gave examples of State laws that resulted in protection where

there was none before, and also mentioned that the radium standards are for one

in 10,000 protection, not one in a million, as many people are lead to believe.

Again, thereís this false sense of security.

And Rodger talked about the need to find the source of the

problem, and I wrote that down. And he talked about getting the best cleanup

to date. I wrote that down, because there has been this, sort of, public relations

effort to convey to the public that this is naturally occurring radium and

uranium. And, in fact, there is nothing that validates that assumption.

As a matter of fact, some of the uranium levels are extremely high.

Theyíre well over 200 picocuries per liter in some of the test samples. They

refer, in the studies, to the U.S.G.S. studies, and they use that, sort of, as a

reference. And yet, I spoke with a person that they quote. And he told me that

in tests done here, in South Jersey, they have never found combined uranium

levels -- that is, different types of uranium combined and then counted -- at

higher than one picocury per liter. Some of the test samples were well over 200.

That would tend to make someone like me, a layperson, think this might not be


naturally occurring, and so who knows what we may find as we move into this

cleanup and draw the plume, as we begin to draw the plume from the center.

We donít know what we might find in the future.

And, also, Linda brought up her experience in going to CCMUA to

try to find out about a treatment failure, a treatment failure that went on for

three weeks. We really donít know the history of failures at the CCMUA and

we certainly cannot predict what failures might occur in the future. But they

could be catastrophic when we look at not just the radionuclide issue there, but

the huge number, the many contaminants that will leech from that landfill.

Remember, now, by law, I think we look at somewhere around 120

contaminants. Those are the contaminants that are identified. But there could,

literally, be thousands of contaminants coming from that landfill. And thereís --

certainly the allowable level is well, well above drinking water standards for

those contaminants, other than the radionuclides that are coming through the

sewer system.

So getting back to my original point -- and that was that the judge

says there is no basis for concluding that the pre-treated effluent of the GEMS

Landfill site will pose any risk to the residents of Gloucester Township or of

Camden County. I think that the many people here gave informed points and

valid concerns. They were expressed by a wide range of people, and citizens

from the many neighborhoods. I think the judge is wrong, and I just want to go

on record as saying that we will support any appeal by the county.

Thank you. (applause)

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you, Sharon.

I had Sharon listed as the last speaker. Did we miss anybody?


Yes, maíam.



ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: You have to just, if you would, come

up and state your name and your address.

Is there anybody else? (affirmative responses) Everybody, come

on up.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Is there anyone else? (no



Just for the sake of time, we just want to keep it as brief as possible,

if you would.

We need everybody to--


give him something.

May I?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Sure, as long as itís not--


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: --letter bomb.


something I found in--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Oh, okay. Thank you. Thatís great.


weíve been fighting this.




T H E R E S A L A N D - F I T Z P A T R I C K: Like a lot of us here, weíre

all just trying to get--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Okay, what-- Maíam.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Iím sorry. Theresa Land-Fitzpatrick,

590 Lower Landing Road, Townhouse 152, Blackwood, New Jersey.

Like so many of us here, weíre here to get answers. And as I was

sitting here, I was starting to write a lot of questions.

My first one is-- I understand that, Mr. Smith, you have a

legislation up that you said you enacted in March of 2003 -- it came out of


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Well, let me just say this. This,

probably, isnít the forum to ask questions. Iíd be happy to talk to you after the

Committee hearing.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Oh, I thought this was regarding the


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: It is. Itís testimony on the bill. If you

have any opinions regarding the substance of the bill, thatís what this hearing

is. I mean, if you have any questions, Iíd be happy to help you after the

Committee hearing. Or Maggie or Jeff could help you.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: You canít-- All right. Well, could

you at least tell me when this bill was proposed?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: January 16 of this year. It was

reported out of Committee, favorably, March 6 of this year.


ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Itís going to be posted for a

vote on June 12.


MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Okay. Is that the usual amount of

time that it would take to get a bill, once this comes out of subcommittee, to the


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: I really donít know. I mean, some bills

have gone quicker, some bills never get out.

Jeff, whatís your experience? It went pretty quick, didnít it?

MR. TITTEL: (speaking from audience) If you get a bill into law

within six months, thatís pretty quick, quite frankly. There are bills that go

back to when Senator Keanís father was--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Maíam, is there any testimony

regarding the bill?

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Oh, Iíve got some definite issues that

I would like to speak in regards to.


MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: One of them is that, from what I

understand, this legislation only deals with the GEMS Landfill issue. Is that



MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Itís going to deal with the whole


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: The bill specifies that no radioactive

waste shall be allowed to be transported through our public sewer systems,


whether itís GEMS or any other landfill in the State of New Jersey. Itís not just


MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Okay, only because we have things

that have gone on that we donít know, and I know that Karen, whoís the

founder of C.A.R.E.-- The only reason she has been able to educate so many

of us is because of former Assemblyman, now Senator, Geist -- enacted the

Right-to-Know Law. And it was through that, that a lot of us were able to get

this information.

Iíd like to know that -- if this legislation will allow us, as citizens,

to have more of a right to know, because at this point, we donít. We really have

no rights to know. And every question that we ask -- itís either in litigation, or

whatever. But weíre not told anything.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: It has nothing to do with Right-to-

Know. It strictly has to do with the substantive law in the State of New Jersey,

public policy. And that public policy is that we donít want radioactive waste

transported through our sewer systems. It has nothing to do with Right-to-



ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: There are other laws dealing

with the right to know in the State, and public notice, and disclosure of public


MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: That were already enacted.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: That are being discussed in

other forums and are being moved through the Assembly and the Senate, like

this bill is being moved through.


MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Okay. So we will have more right to

know in the future.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: If it passes. This bill deals

solely with radioactive waste being transmitted through our sewer systems

anywhere in the state.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Now, Mr. Smith, how long have you

been on this subcommittee for environmental issues?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Iíve been on this Committee, which is

Agriculture and Natural Resources, for three-and-a-half years.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Okay. And this subject never came

up before?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: It was brought to my attention back

in January of 2003, when I had a conversation with a number of the people in

this room.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Okay. So you were unaware of Mr.

Geistís proposal that was enacted -- that was proposed in November of 2002?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Which proposal is that?

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Assembly Resolution No. 203.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: I was certainly aware of it. Iím the cosponsor

of that resolution.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Okay, because Iím a little confused --

if this was proposed in 2003, why there needed to be another one done in

January of 2002.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Well, theyíre completely different

documents. One is a resolution, which has no binding authority. One is a bill,


which, hopefully, will become law, which has binding authority in the State of

New Jersey.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Are the two combined in the same?

Because what Iím reading in this seems to be different than what youíre


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: It is different.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: And Iím hoping that, eventually, the

two can come together, because I do see things in this legislation that give the

people more the right to know, will give more testing, will allow more things,

rather than just give a blanket statement, "It canít go through." Because we

already have a court order saying it must go through. We have no monitoring

system set up at the GTMUA, yet, that will allow for this. And I need to know

that if this bill is enacted -- will the State Legislature be willing to go to the

supreme court -- U.S. Supreme Court? Because I do know that, presently, the

U.S. Supreme Court does, really, in most cases, generally sides with State rules

when it comes to these matters, unless itís superseded by an EPA rule -- a

Federal ruling.

So, what Iím saying is that, if this bill is enacted, is this something

the State is willing to fight, if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: This bill, here?

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Yes, because this bill is going to ban


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: The bill thatís the subject of this

Committee hearing?

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Iím sorry, what?


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: The bill that is the subject of this

Committee hearing?


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Okay. What was your question?

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: If it is enacted--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Right, if it becomes law.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Is this something that the State is

willing to take up to the U.S. Supreme Court? Because, right now, we have a

court order to do this. And this bill is going to come in afterwards. Is it going

to be grandfathered?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: The Federal judge, in making a

decision, looks to the substantive law in the State of New Jersey, meaning what

law is on the books, what is statutory, what is regulatory. There were no laws,

prior to this decision, about the transportation of nuclear waste through sewer

facilities, through sewer lines. If that law was in effect at the time the decision

was made, I donít think he would have ruled that way, because it would be

illegal, in the State of New Jersey, to transport that nuclear waste through sewer


So, I still believe, appeal or no appeal, that this bill, once it

becomes law -- and I hope that it will -- I can speak for my house that it, most

likely, will be passed -- has the ability to negate the Federal judgeís decision,

because the substantive law in the State of New Jersey is different.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: But wonít that be after the law? So

wouldnít they be looking at the law that was in effect at that time, which in this

case would, basically, grandfather anything thatís already been happening?


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Jeff, I see you shaking your head. Do

you have--

MR. TITTEL: Well, I would just say that once--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: You have to come up to the


MR. TITTEL: I just wanted to say that once you change the law,

it would then open up new litigation. Basically, what would happen--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Mike-- You have to get up to the


MR. TITTEL: Iím sorry.

If a bill becomes law--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Jeff Tittel, Sierra Club.

MR. TITTEL: Iím sorry. Jeff Tittel, Sierra Club.

If a bill becomes law, what happens is, that becomes the law of the

land, and it overturns court decisions. So the State of New Jersey could then get

an injunction against GEMS to discharge into that sewer system, based on the

new law, which would then -- which then GEMS could challenge, but then

GEMS would lose.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: So the grandfather act would not

apply to this.

MR. TITTEL: Right, because you go for injunctive release against


MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Okay, because my concern is that it

would go to that.


Now, sludge was brought up as an issue. Are you aware that the

EPA is going to come out with new guidelines in regards to that, in the next

couple of months? Because when I met up with the State DEP--


MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: --regarding sludge, they stated that it

would be coming out in a couple of months.

And does your bill address the sludge that will accumulate just

before it is pumped up to the Erial pumping station, which is where it would go

running through first?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: No, it does not.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Do you know the hazards of sludge,

as far as what has been put out by the EPA at this point?

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: What I would like to do, respectfully,

is to reserve questions until after the meeting. If you have any comments

specifically on the bill, on 3174, this is your opportunity. I didnít announce

this at the beginning, but generally, as a matter of protocol, in Committee

hearings across the board, five minutes limitation.

Do you have any comments about 3174?

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Well, just like I said, I hope that you

will consider some of the points that are put out through Georgeís resolution--

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Absolutely. Iím a co-sponsor of that


MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: --that are not included in yours.

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Maíam, just to answer your

question. Senator Geist, when he was in the Assembly, offered resolutions. The


bill, itself, which Senator Geist supports, and endorses, and is a prime sponsor

of, incorporates portions of his resolution. I think Senator Geist would say that

a legislation that can become law is more powerful than a resolution, which is,

basically, a recommendation.

In his-- He had offered amendments, which we adopted and will

be voted on as a part of this bill in its core on June 12, that provide for a site

operated -- would also be required to make available -- free to the public -- the

test results for pollutants on the site. The DEP would be required to hold

monthly public meetings concerning the site remediation, which is, I think, part

of your public awareness message. And the measure, also, would require that

the public be given an update on the funds that have been spent to remediate

the site. Those were the amendments -- the only amendments offered by

Senator Geist that we all agreed upon, adopted, and supported. It really makes

the resolution moot at this point, and moves the legislation as a more binding,

more powerful effect.

And that is where this currently sits, and it will be ready to be voted

on, on the 12th. And, actually, through a, really, quirk, which is to the

advantage of this bill, Assemblyman Geist has now moved over to the Senate,

where he can be an active and vocal voice for a bill that he was instrumental,

with Bob Smith and myself in the Assembly, to help make a reality. So we will

have a voice on both floors, which doesnít always happen.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Well, thatís good, because just from

what I read in the newspaper, itís just saying that some of the comments were

made that it didnít seem that -- these amendments werenít being incorporated,

and that--


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: They absolutely were.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: --it was just your bills, and that was


ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Senator Geist is still here. He offered

up the amendments at the Committee. It was unanimous. It was released with

the full amendments.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: So then your comments in the

newspaper didnít really reflect the actual realities of this bill.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: I donít believe that to be the case, but

thatís a matter of interpretation.

MS. LAND-FITZPATRICK: Okay, thank you.


S A N D Y K E E N: My name is Sandy Keen, and I reside at 2833 South

Blackhorse Pike; and I did reside in Cross Keys, in the Washington Township

section, about, Iíd say, eight years ago -- which I was affected by radoncontaminated

water, and high nitrates in the well, previously, and uranium, etc.

My property, now, in Williamstown, Monroe Township, has been

mercury-contaminated for at least three years, but the whole area has been

mercury-contaminated for many, many years.

I commend you, Assemblyman Smith, for coming out to a meeting

that was a very serious meeting, because we do live in the Pinelands. I have

dealt with the Senator, and I have dealt with Christie Whitman, and the EPA,

and the United States Ground Survey Committee.

When I heard about the GEMS Landfill, and this waste getting put

out towards Camden-- I know what mercury has done to the sewer systems in


Monroe Township, so I can imagine what radionuclides are going to do to the

sewer systems and the lines going out to Camden. Iím an advocate for treating

on-site. Whatever bill is to be passed, Iíd be an advocate for that. Itís a very

serious issue, especially when these radionuclides start coming down through our

creeks, because we havenít been affected by that yet. But once they start coming

down through our creeks and mixing up with mercury, then weíre going to have

serious problems -- cocktails.

So the-- My health has been affected. I had a child that was

affected by all this. And itís time that we move on with this. And the Pinelands

are a Federally protected area.

The State has been giving all the moneys to North Jersey to,

actually-- Once again, South Jersey, here -- our Pinelands -- are affected, and

we need help.

I think itís a very serious issue, and letís move on with the whole

issue, and letís let our state grow into the beautiful Garden State that it is.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you very much.

MS. KEEN: Thank you.

ASSEMBLYMAN SMITH: Thank you. (applause)

I just want to simply thank everybody for coming out this evening

for this very important issue.

Senator Geist, thank you for remaining here throughout the

Committee hearing and listening to the testimony.

Freeholder Director Jeff Nash is still here. I appreciate his

attendance, him coming out and listening to the concerns of the residents here

in Camden County.


Assemblyman Greenwald, I appreciate you showing up and,

actually, sitting in on a Committee that is not your own, in a town that you do

not represent. I think that really shows your commitment to this issue. So I

appreciate it.

I just want to thank everybody, again. And, hopefully, we will see

some movement on this bill, June 12. I stated previously, it will be posted, and

I fully expect that the bill will be released from the Assembly.

Thank you very much for coming out. (applause)