CAMDEN — The state's new Acting Attorney General has launched a joint effort with the DEP to get a court order for the clean-up of an illegal dumping site, where contamination dates back nearly 20 years.

A lawsuit initially filed by the DEP back in May dealt with the property, which spans several lots in the 600 block of Chestnut Street.

Weyhill Realty Holdings was ordered to immediately clean up the solid waste, including tires, soil and debris that is literally spilling from the site, including onto a neighboring residential property.

Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck and DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette filed an amended complaint on Monday, urging a court order to enforce immediate action at the Camden site.

State prosecutors have accused former site owners, S. Yaffa & Sons of beginning the illegal dump, including contaminated soil, construction and demolition debris and waste tires – for many years without a permit before selling the property to Weyhill in July 2019.

Weyhill then continued to add to the piles, according to the complaint filed two months ago.

Site of decades of illegal dumping in Camden (NJ OAG)
Site of decades of illegal dumping in Camden (NJ OAG)

The DEP has issued multiple notices of violation to the site’s owners over the years and back in April, the City of Camden issued a cease operations order for the site.

However, the massive junk heap and harmful, polluting conditions remain.

In November, DEP confirmed that each of 10 soil samples taken from the property contained at least one hazardous substance at a concentration above legal limits, including chromium, a known carcinogen.

"No community in New Jersey should be used as an illegal dumping ground," Bruck said on Twitter, sharing a link to the amended complaint.

"I'm proud that, in one of my first acts as Acting AG, we're joining with the state DEP to fight for environmental justice in Camden," he added.

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