HOWELL-Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley has joined the public in the fight against a proposed solid waste recycling facility in a sleepy Howell Township neighborhood this week.
Curley broke from the silence of his fellow Republican freeholders on the topic. Aside from the public safety risks the facility could propose to the neighboring community, many have also been upset to learn that the project has the appearance of a political insider job as the applicant is the husband of the former county clerk, Claire French.
“There is a move afoot to place a Solid Waste Transfer Facility in Howell, near residents, schools, parks, and businesses,” Curley said this week. “Those advancing the venture are no doubt aware that major tributaries lie beneath the community.”
Curley said he fears the facility could contaminate the major tributaries which feed water to Brick Township residents and the Monmouth County reservoir. In February, the Brick Township MUA also questioned the risk to their residents.
” These underground waterways feed our Monmouth County reservoir, which could risk contamination. I strongly oppose this ill-conceived notion and ask: Why would anyone support the measure,” Curley asked. “The issues at stake are clear: Should we allow cross-contamination of wells and sewers to affect towns? Do we risk poisoning the water all our residents drink? Do we want a waste dump in an active community?”
Curley also criticized the potential for a huge negative impact on the local roadways and infrastructure.
“[The Solid Waste Facility] would allow large trucks to bring solid waste to the town for storage until larger trucks ultimately move it out, all while destroying roadways and infrastructure that were never designed for such traffic flow? Why should taxpayers face that repair expense? How can the Environmental Protection Agency be wrong in fostering policies that place these sometimes toxic facilities in more remote and rural areas, rather than in active communities,” he asked.
Curley demanded his fellow freeholders and other government agencies involved to present the public with more transparency on the proposal. Several times in the past, residents had complained about how the Monmouth County Solid Waste Advisory Council handled the matter.
“Why would anyone support the measure?” Curley asked.
“Over ten years ago, I successfully fought for Red Bank residents in keeping a waste station out of their community. I pledge to do the same for residents of Howell,” he said. “And for the greater good and betterment of Monmouth County.”