In recent weeks, I have received questions from residents about the situation at Dennis P. Collins Park, which is located at Bergen Point, between 1st Street and the Kill Van Kull. The City of Bayonne has plans to continue a series of renovations at the park. However, those park improvements have been on hold, pending the completion of environmental clean-up work at the park. Due to the Coronavirus, that clean-up work was put on hold. PPG is the company responsible for the cleanup. During a phone conference last week with PPG, we learned that the environmental work will resume by September.
At Collins Park, as is the case with many other locations, too, the soil contains chromate, which was used as fill during the 20th century. In some cases, it is not clear which company was responsible for the fill that was placed in certain locations. Under a court settlement in 2009, PPG took responsibility to clean up various sites where it was unclear who the responsible party was. That is why PPG is doing the work at Collins Park. The environmental work at Collins Park is expected to be completed in 2021. Then we can get on with additional park improvements that have been on hold.
Along the Kill Van Kull shoreline by Collins Park, there are stones in the rip-rap work that need to be removed. These stones do not meet the specifications for that shoreline area. However, these stones have been tested and approved to be moved to Veterans’ Park along Newark Bay, near Ahern Veterans’ Stadium. In that new location, the stones will help reinforce the Newark Bay shoreline and will assist future waterfront walkway construction.
In our phone conference with PPG, I raised a concern that our residents have mentioned. People have wondered whether heavy rains have caused environmentally damaged soil to run off into the streets. Apparently, the damaged areas have been contained. According to PPG, before work stopped a few months ago, the company covered all of the areas that they felt were an issue. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Weston, an independent technical consultant, concurred with PPG’s decision. The site is inspected weekly.
PPG has committed to giving advance notice to the City of Bayonne before the environmental clean-up project resumes. We look forward to the completion of their work, so that we can start another round of park improvements.