Pemberton Township Asphalt Millings

Pemberton Township recently resurfaced Tensaw Drive in the County Lakes section of the Township, but dumped the resulting asphalt millings along the shoulder of Spring Lake Blvd. Read on to learn about the action taken by concerned residents and PPA.

 

 

In August 2012 PPA got a phone call from some residents living in the Country Lakes development of Pemberton Township asking about the millings that were being stockpiled in an area off Spring Lake Blvd - a township roadway going through Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.

Image of Millings along roadway[+ ZOOM] Millings along roadway ©PPAImage of Millings stockpiled on Spring Lake Blvd[+ ZOOM] Millings stockpiled on Spring Lake Blvd ©PPA
 
 

PPA staff went to the site to take a look and found that the millings had been spread along the shoulder of Spring Lake Blvd about one mile long and ten feet wide, completely covering vegetation, knocking down trees, and encroaching upon wetlands.

We also found that millings were placed on top of a scenic sand road that runs through one of the most pristine parts of the Pinelands Preservation Area.

 

Impacting the Pinelands

We believe the roadside activities are not permitted by the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP), and potentially violate the MOA between the Pinelands Commission and the Township, as well as NJ DEP Solid Waste regulations. Millings contain a high concentration of cancer-causing compounds that can have serious environmental and human impacts. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Asphalt Millings Guidance Document states:

“Asphalt millings used alone without a paved top surface have the potential to significantly migrate from the roadway through the actions of water, wind, and physical displacement and possibly contaminate surrounding soils and/or surface water sediments.”

The NJ DEP Asphalt Millings Guidance Document states that, “The use of loose unbound asphalt millings on land and roadway surfaces without the placement of a paved top surface is not generally appropriate, and asphalt millings are not considered clean fill. In order to avoid sediment contamination, asphalt millings should not be used where runoff to surface water features would be possible.”

 

Taking Action

PPA submitted comments to the NJ Pinelands Commission and NJ DEP about the millings that were covering the roadside. ( Letter & attachments)

Since PPA became involved the Pinelands Commission issued a letter (click here to read) to the Township advising it to refrain from placing more asphalt millings along unimproved roads and road shoulders. The Commission has also requested a meeting with the Township.

This is just one story unfolding in one part of the Pinelands, but it illustrates how critical it is to have the Pinelands Preservation Alliance here as a watchdog for citizens who care about the Pinelands, and to have citizens watching and working with PPA.

The road shoulder was vegetated prior to the asphalt millings being placed down.

Image of  Vegetated side of Spring Lake Blvd Vegetated side of Spring Lake Blvd ©PPA
 

UPDATE: On November 15, 2012 the Pinelands Commission issued a second letter to Pemberton Township, ordering the Township to remove the millings or amend them in such a way that is consistent with the DEP's guidelines. Click here to read letter.

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