FREEHOLD TWP. – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, issued the following statement today regarding news that the federal Surface Transportation Board rejected Ashland Railroad’s plan to build a trash transfer station off Route 33 in Freehold Township:
“I am grateful that the federal government has decided against forcing a trash transfer station on the residents of Freehold Township.
“Trash transfer sites pose serious health and safety risks for the surrounding communities, and lower property values in the immediate area. Pollution from construction debris can contaminate local groundwater and soil, and fumes from decomposing trash, combined with higher truck emissions coming to and from the site, can devastate air quality in the neighborhood.
“From the moment I read reports that Ashland was considering locating a trash transfer site in Freehold Township, I worked to block it. I wrote letters to the federal government, and worked with local officials and groups opposed to the trash transfer facility. I stuffed letters with the Sludge Busters in Freehold to get action. We approved a Senate resolution calling on the federal government to revisit the legislation which prohibits State and local governments from regulating where these sites can be established.
“Ultimately, however, it was the combined opposition from the community which I believe had the greatest impact on the federal government’s decision to step in. I was glad to work with my friends and neighbors to preserve the quality of life in Freehold Township.
“A trash transfer facility, in the middle of Freehold Township, would have severely impacted on the lives of the residents, and hurt the community. While we still need to revisit the federal statutes which make communities powerless against trash transfer sites, I’m thankful that our calls for help from the federal government didn’t go unnoticed.”