🔴 The Fair Lawn Nabisco plant was to be imploded April 15 but that has been put off

🔴 Residents had concerns about chemicals that could be released by the blast

🔴 The mayor blamed 'paperwork' for the delay

FAIR LAWN — The implosion of the former Nabisco plant has been postponed indefinitely to make sure all regulatory requirements will be met.

Once upon a time, you knew you were in Fair Lawn because of the sweet smell of baked goods like Oreos, Teddy Grahams and Lorna Boones that wafted from the factory that employed 600 people along Route 208. Mondelēz International in 2021 announced the plant was closing in order to consolidate its east coast operations to a single facility in Richmond, Virginia.

It was sold to an East Brunswick company called Greek Development that has not made its plans for the property public. It is responsible for the building's demolition.

Saturday, April 15 was the date originally announced for the implosion of the plant along Route 208 that was built in 1958. A reason for the postponement was not initially given on the borough website.

“At this time Greek Development has decided to postpone the implosion of the Nabisco Tower due to delays in ongoing efforts with local and state agencies to fulfill all regulatory requirements and make all necessary pre-implosion arrangements," senior account executive Patrick Griffin said in an emailed statement.

"A new date for this demolition activity has not yet been set. Ownership’s priority is to ensure the safety of its workers and the surrounding community and will continue transparency with the public as it works to revise the proposed schedule.”

Sebastiano Marino heads for his car after working at the Nabisco plant
Sebastiano Marino heads for his car after working at the Nabisco plant (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Original date canceled

Mayor Kurt Peluso in a brief text exchange with New Jersey 101.5 blamed “paperwork” and then referred questions to the borough building and zoning department.

The delay comes as residents from Fair Lawn and surrounding towns express concern about the impact the implosion will have on the air soil and water. Specifically, they worry about the asbestos, lead, mercury, PCBs, mold spores, and arsenic they fear will be released by the implosion.

READ MORE: April implosion scheduled for NJ Nabisco plant

The borough says asbestos has been removed from the bakery in the main building. The two remaining buildings, the R&D and maintenance buildings were to be cleared by March 17.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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