Oceanport, NJ

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-the-Oceanport-Woodbine-Crematorium/341629375993036

https://twitter.com/josephirace/status/497141580130942976

no woodbine crematory

Letter from our Business Administrator on behalf of the Mayor and Council to the Commissioner of the DEP:
August 15, 2014
Dear Commissioner Martin,
I am writing on behalf of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Oceanport. By letter dated June 23, 2014, the Mayor of Oceanport was notified that an application had been filed to Construct and Certificate One Human Crematory located at 14 Maple Ave. Ste. B, Oceanport, NJ. The only details which came with the letter were that an Air Pollution Control Permit was being sought and the maximum processing capacity would be 200 pounds per hour.
This issue had been brought to the forefront of Oceanport in 2002 when the same cemetery applied for the placement of crematory and the legislative delegation of the Borough was able to stop the installation by having a law enacted which left the jurisdiction of the placement of crematories with the Governing Body of the municipality. This law was signed by then Governor Bennett and welcomed within the Borough. Unfortunately the law was changed in 2011 and the new law left the placement of crematories within the jurisdiction of the NJ Cemetery Board.
The reason for this letter is to bring to your attention that the procedure for the granting of an air permit for this proposed crematory is fatally flawed. The ONLY notice to the public was published in the Home News Tribune by June 27,2014. This paper is not circulated (nor even available) within the boundaries of Oceanport. While the letter to the Mayor said that documents would be available for public review, the actual documents did not even locate where the proposed smokestack would be placed.
The Borough has requested a Public Hearing PRIOR to the issuance of any permit. Serious concerns were raised at the last Council meeting of the Governing Body where a standing room only crowd expressed their opposition to the placement of a smokestack within a residential neighborhood. The Mayor and Council of the Borough believe that an issuance of such importance should allow all facts to be placed before the public and they should be able to respond and address the reasons for their opposition. This is especially true as they were denied the opportunity of a proper Public Notice with the placement being in a newspaper which never sees the light of day within the Borough.
The Mayor and Council are requesting your personal intervention to assure that a Public hearing will be held on this issue and all the facts surrounding the application for the Air Pollution Control Permit be brought out to the Public.
Thank you your assistance in this matter.
John O. Bennett
Borough Administrator

NOTICE
IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING
WOODBINE CEMETERY AND A PROPOSED CREMATORY

Contact Information Concerning Woodbine Cemetery

The Borough was recently informed by the DEP that Woodbine Cemetery was seeking an Air Pollution Control Permit to operate one human crematory at 14 Maple Ave. Ste. B, Oceanport, NJ. Other than this letter NO notification has been provided to the Borough or any elected or appointed officials.

In January 2002 then Governor John Bennett signed into law legislation that would require the placement of any crematorium to secure the permission of the Governing Body of the municipality where the project was located. This bill was pushed and secured with strong support from the Borough. Unfortunately this law was repealed and the current law (passed in 2011) says that the only body authorized to approve the construction of a crematory is the New Jersey Cemetery Board, which also must notify the Commissioner of Health whenever an application for a new crematory is filed. Presently, municipalities have no statutory authority to approve the siting of a crematory.

In checking with the DEP, the only public notification of this pending permit was published in the Home News Tribune which is not even distributed in the Borough. The Administrator of the Borough has issued a strong statement on behalf of the Mayor and Council condemning such action and entering the Borough’s objection to the issuance of this air permit. The Borough Engineer has also issued his objections on behalf of the Governing Body and raised technical questions to be answered. The Mayor and Council have also requested a public Hearing to be conducted on this permit in Oceanport. The Borough’s legislative delegation has also been alerted to our concern.

Your entire Governing Body will take whatever steps permitted under the law to stop this invasion into a prime residential section of our town. Smokestacks do not belong in residential neighborhoods and we are opposed to this attempt. We also feel that there has not been sufficient notice to allow the residents of Oceanport to be heard on an issue that concerns many of them. Notice in an out of town paper is just wrong.

Oceanport burned up over crematorium
By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr 7-26-2014

http://thelinknews.net/2014/07/26/oceanport-burned-up-over-crematorium/

Oceanport – The borough was recently informed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that Woodbine Cemetery located at 14 Maple Avenue was seeking an Air Pollution Control Permit to operate one human crematory.

A crematorium is basically a furnace, or the incinerator that is used to dispose of human remains. A standard size cremator can complete a cremation every 75 to 90 minutes, for up to six cremations in ten hours. And all crematoriums have smoke stacks.

Back in 2002, Woodbine Cemetery, which is beautifully kept, attempted to build a crematorium. However, word quickly spread throughout the borough with neighbors complaining to the governing body who also objected to the use.

ollowing the resignation of Governor Christie Todd Whitman in 2002, New Jersey State Senate President John O. Bennett served as Acting Governor for three and half days. During that time he signed into law a requirement that the placement of any crematorium must secure the permission of the Governing Body of the municipality where the proposed crematorium was to be located.

That bill seemed to kill the idea of building a crematorium in Oceanport at Woodbine Cemetery. However, in 2011 that law was repealed and the new law says that the only body authorized to approve the construction of a crematory in the state is the New Jersey Cemetery Board. As one upset resident who lives near Woodbine Cemetery said, “It’s like giving Dracula the keys to the blood bank.”

The NJ Cemetery Board must notify the Commissioner of Health whenever an application for a new crematory is filled. Today, no local municipal governing body or taxpayers, have a voice in the process.

What worries the residents of Oceanport is that every human body has toxins, poisons in their systems. Most crematoriums are located away from residential areas as the smokestacks emit microscopic partials into the atmosphere.

Oceanport is fortunate to have former Governor Bennett as its current Borough Administrator. He stated that he checked with the DEP and the only public notification of this pending permit was published in the Home News, which is not even distributed in the Borough. In fact, that newspaper is based in Somerville.

Bennett issued a strong statement on behalf of Mayor Michael Mahon and the council condemning such action and entering the Borough’s objection to the issuance of this air permit. Even the engineer for Oceanport was not advised on the project and he has also issued his own objections as well as raising technical questions that should be addressed.

Mahon has also requested that a public hearing be conducted on this permit in Oceanport. The governing body has reached out to its legislative delegation and advised them of what has taken place and asking for their assistance.

“The entire Governing Body will take whatever steps permitted under the law to stop this invasion into a prime residential section of our town,” said Bennett. Directly across the road (Eatontown Blvd.) is Wolf Hill Farms, a Monmouth County Park, and just a few blocks down the street is Wolf Hill Elementary School. “Smokestacks do not belong in residential neighborhoods and we are opposed to this attempt. We also feel that there has not been sufficient notice to allow the residents of Oceanport to be heard on the issue that concerns many of them. A notice in an out of town paper is just wrong.”

Crematorium Has Oceanport Officials Hot 7-26-2014

http://www.moremonmouthmusings.net/2014/07/26/crematorium-has-oceanport-officials-hot/

Oceanport officials are burning over the prospects of the Woodbine Cemetery installing a crematorium with a smoke stack in a residential neighborhood of the borough.

In a statement released by Councilman Joe Irace yesterday and posted on the Oceanport website , the borough complains that the only public notification that Woodbine Cemetery was seeking to build a crematorium was in a public notice published in the Home News, an Asbury Park Press affiliated publication that is distributed in Middlesex and Somerset counties.

The borough became aware of the situation via a letter from the Department of Environmental Protection informing them that Woodbine was seeking an Air Pollution Control Permit.

Oceanport Administrator John Bennett was surprised by the notification from DEP because in 2002, as Acting Governor, Bennett signed legislation into law that required that municipal governing bodies approve the construction of crematoriums within their boundaries. However that law was repealed in 2011. The current law gives the New Jersey Cemetery Board the authority to approve crematorium construction permits. The Cemetery Board must inform the Commissioner of Health of the application, according to the statement. Municipalities now have no authority to approve or disapprove of a crematorium in their communities.

The cemetery industry is well represented on the board that regulates it in New Jersey. The New Jersey Cemetery Board is comprised of a rabbi, the former president of a mosque, a representative of the Department of Health and Senior Services, a representative of the Attorney General and four owners or managers of cemeteries. Governor Chris Christie has nominated a fifth representative of the cemetery industry to fill a vacancy on the board.

Bennett has issued a strong statement on behalf of the Mayor and Council condemning the public notice in an out of town publication and entered the borough’s objection to the issuance of the Air Pollution Control Permit.

The Mayor and Council have requested a public hearing on the application and the Borough Engineer, William White of Maser Consulting, has raised technical questions to be answered.

In the statement, the governing body pledged to take whatever steps permitted under the law to stop this invasion into a prime residential section of our town. “Smokestacks do not belong in residential neighborhoods and we are opposed to this attempt. We also feel that there has not been sufficient notice to allow the residents of Oceanport to be heard on an issue that concerns many of them. Notice in an out of town paper is just wrong.”

O’Scanlon joins Oceanport’s fight against crematorium 7-31-2014

http://www.moremonmouthmusings.net/2014/07/31/oscanlon-joins-oceanports-fight-against-crematorium/

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said he supports the Borough of Oceanport’s efforts to prevent a crematorium from being built in a residential neighborhood.

“I am concerned with the process and the minimal amount of communication,” said O’Scanlon. “The fact that the only public notification of this pending permit was published in the Home News Tribune, which is not even distributed in the Borough, is hardly adequate notice.”

“I have seconded the municipal request for a public hearing so that all the facets of this permit request can be discussed and the residents have an opportunity to voice their concerns,” O’Scanlon explained. “Projects such as this should never be implemented behind closed doors. I plan on remaining involved in this issue to see that all concerns are addressed.”

Oceanport Borough Administrator John Bennett was surprised last week when he was informed by the Department of Environmental Protection that Woodbine Cemetery had applied for an Air Pollution Control permit. As Acting Governor in 2002, Bennett signed legislation that required crematoriums be approved by the governing bodies of the municipalities where they were proposed. That legislation was repealed in 2011. The current law gives the New Jersey Cemetery Board the authority to approve crematorium construction permits. The majority of the Cemetery Board is comprised of owners or managers of cemeteries.

Outcry over crematory in Oceanport 8-7-2014
By KENNY WALTER
Staff Writer

http://hub.gmnews.com/news/2014-08-07/Front_Page/Outcry_over_crematory_in_Oceanport.html

Oceanport officials are citing a lack of transparency as they oppose a proposal to build a crematory at Woodbine Cemetery.

Borough Administrator John O. Bennett III said last week that the cemetery owners are seeking an air quality permit from the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that would pave the way for a crematory to be built on the Maple Avenue site.

However, he said the borough was only recently notified of the proposal, which must be approved by the state Cemetery Board, and residents have been left largely in the dark about the impact of the proposal.

“The lack of information on the part of what’s being told to us is raising the concerns,” Bennett said. “The bottom line is, it is a residential neighborhood. There is a proposed smokestack on the crematory for which they asked for an air permit.”

He added that the borough has “no knowledge whatsoever” of whether the crematory would expel unpleasant scents or toxins into the air.

Mayor Michael Mahon said last week that the application should be heard by a local board.

“The ability to weigh in on it and have the local Planning Board influence the hours of operation, the intensity — those are things that local boards in New Jersey are able to consider and act upon,” he said.

“You lose the ability to influence the circumstances that you will find yourself living next to, which gives us some concern.”

The current proposal is the second Woodbine has made for a crematory. A 2001 proposal was eventually dropped after a state law, which was signed by Bennett in his role as Senate president and acting governor, was passed giving municipal councils the authority to reject such applications.

That law was amended in 2011, placing the authority to approve or reject crematory proposals with the Cemetery Board. Mahon said a crematory is not a supported use in a residential area. “I think the question to ask is, what if I lived next to it?” he said. “It is a residential neighborhood that the cemetery borders on; it is a nice quiet, well-kept neighborhood that is typical of Oceanport.

“I think the natural concerns are for the air you breathe.”

DEP Press Officer Lawrence Hajna confirmed last week that Woodbine has applied for an air quality permit.

He said the permit application is currently being reviewed after a public comment period recently closed. He added that just two comments were received, which were from Bennett and Borough Engineer William White.

Bob Considine, DEP press officer, said in an email that the application must meet several standards set by the department for a permit. These include minimum temperature for burning, maximum thresholds of contaminants on a daily and annual basis, maintenance and record-keeping.

According to Considine, some of the pollutants tracked include volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, lead and other hazardous air pollutants.

“Typically, when standard best practices are applied, the parameters of the permit are met,” he said. “However, DEP air inspectors reserve the right to do stack testing if there is any reason to believe that standards aren’t being met.”

Representatives of Woodbine did not return calls seeking comment.

According to Bennett, one of the issues regarding the proposal is that state notification was only placed in a Middlesex County newspaper that is not circulated in the borough.

Since then, Mahon said the borough has demanded a public hearing be held in the borough on the proposal.

According to Bennett, a public hearing would go a long way to quell some of residents’ concerns.

“So the public could not only voice their concerns, but they can also hear what is proposed,” he said. “We are concerned, but a lot of that is because we don’t know.

“When I was involved, there were some very strong concerns as to what was going to be discharged; perhaps technology has moved forward and it is different.

“They need to come forward and tell the people.”

Until a public hearing is set, Bennett said Oceanport officials remain opposed to the crematory.

“The mayor and council have jumped on this as quickly as possible with united and complete opposition,” he said.

Environmental effects main crematorium concern
Staff Writer
By JOHN BURTON

http://atl.gmnews.com/news/2001-08-02/Front_Page/008.html

OCEANPORT — Armed with determination and information culled from various Web sites, area residents are continuing to battle the plans to install a crematorium at a local cemetery.

Woodbine Cemetery, Maple Avenue, has applied to the borough’s Planning Board for site-plan approval to construct a crematorium on the 22-acre facility.

The attorney representing the cemetery, as well as others testifying on its behalf, has maintained the cemetery has the right to build the crematorium, because of the Cemetery Act, a state statute, as long as it has the approval of the state’s Department of Community Affairs, Cemetery Board, and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Local municipalities actually have very little say in this arena, and the board can only approve — or deny — this application based on the proposed site plan.

Neighbors are worried.

A number of those who live in the area have expressed concern over the placement of such a facility in a primarily residential area.

“The main concern is how it’s going to affect the environment,” said Art Mura, who lives on Maple Avenue which is a stone’s throw from the cemetery.

“What my concerns are with kids, as well as with the adults,” said Allison DeVito, Massaro Street, “are these smokestacks will emit harmful things.”

The residents have raised worries over the emission of dental mercury from the smokestacks, as well as other health issues associated with the placement of such a facility.

During the course of the public hearings on this application over the past few months, there has been testimony which asserted that the cremation process is safe and is overseen by the state’s DEP. But some are not so convinced, and have surfed the Internet to ascertain information regarding crematoria, the effects of mercury and other environmental considerations.

“There are diseases associated with this stuff,” noted Gale Mura, Maple Avenue.

“Shore Regional [High School] is just down the road and the kids will be inhaling this,” said Mary Kinslow, Locust Avenue, West Long Branch.

The cemetery and surrounding area rest on a flood plain, noted Sal Vecchione, Woodbine Way. There also are protected wetlands on the cemetery’s property — issues that need to be addressed more thoroughly before this is permitted to proceed, Vecchione insisted.

There also are matters of protected species, including ospreys and great-blue herons, who nest in the area, added Kinslow.

“This is the problem with the state issuing the permit without visiting the site,” DeVito said.

Usually, the residents said, these types of facilities are placed in the context of larger cemeteries, and in areas that are primarily industrial. They point to crematoria in Linden, Newark and the one in Neptune.

“This is not the right location for this type of facility,” Vecchione insisted.

In the surrounding area, he noted, in addition to the wetlands issue, there are schools, a park and a daycare center.

“The other issue is we don’t want it at all,” he acknowledged.

Vecchione also questioned Woodbine’s position that cemeteries are permitted to build these things, simply on the basis of their being cemeteries.

“Can any cemetery build a crematorium?” Vecchione pondered. “A little church with a cemetery can build a crematorium? There have to be some guidelines.”

Acknowledging they are faced with an uphill battle, those opposing the project have said there appears to be a disconnect from those elected and appointed to represent the borough.

A number of them have contacted local elected officials about their concerns and have received a letter from state Sen. Joseph A. Palaia (R-11) supporting their position, They have also gotten some acknowledgments from a representative of Congressman Rush Holt (D-12), saying the congressman is looking into the issue.

The West Long Branch Borough Council passed a resolution opposing the crematorium, as has the Shore Regional Board of Education.

But, they contend, borough officials have given them short shrift, saying the borough has limited recourse in this matter.

“The government in this town has done very little,” Kinslow said.

“I know people think it’s a done deal,” acknowledged Kinslow, “but if more people knew about it, it could make the difference.”

Should the crematorium eventually be permitted at Woodbine Cemetery, DeVito said her options would be limited.

“If they build it, I’ll probably have to move,” she said, because of her husband’s severe asthma.

“They say you can move, it’s your choice,” DeVito said. “The Cemetery Act doesn’t give me any choice,”

But Sal Vecchione insists that while he opposes the crematorium, he doesn’t have anything against the cemetery or those who run it.

“I happen to like the place,” he said. “Do you think we don’t think the place is beautiful? We bury our dead there.”

Oceanport Community Rallies Against Proposed Crematorium 8-8-2014

By: Chris Sheldon Published: August 8, 2014 Word on the Shore

http://wordontheshore.com/oceanport-community-rallies-against-proposed-crematorium–cms-3248

OCEANPORT: Borough residents filled the Maple Place auditorium during the Aug. 7 council to hear the governing body’s plans to fight a proposed crematorium in a residential area and voice their own concerns.

Woodbine Cemetery, 14 Maple Ave., is seeking an air pollution control permit to build the crematorium, according to a letter from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to the Oceanport Council.

The borough and public’s main gripe, other than the proposed location, is the lack of notice and ability to hold a public hearing on the plan.

Borough Administrator John Bennett said the only notification the borough received was the letter from the NJDEP and the only public notice was in the Home News, a newspaper that is not distributed in Oceanport or the county.

Bennett said the only body authorized to approve the construction of a crematory is the New Jersey Cemetery Board, which also must notify the Commissioner of Health whenever an application for a new crematory is filed. This is the result of legislation which repealed a law that would have given the borough more authority over the application.

He said Woodbine has not yet applied to the cemetery board for approval but will be applying if they receive the air quality permit.

Borough Engineer William White said the air quality permit has not yet been granted.

White said he was concerned that the cemetery would not be required to test what is expelled from the smokestack. He said it could also be in operation 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

The council passed a resolution stating its opposition to the proposal and asked each resident to speak by stating their name, address and they are against the crematorium.

The resolution states that the mayor and council “strenuously object(s) to the issuance of air permit by the NJDEP until such time as a public hearing can be held to review all the facts connected to the application.”

“The placement of a smokestack for commercial purposes within a residential zone is not proper land use planning and could disrupt the quality of life for residents in the area,” the resolution states.

The council said it has reached out to local legislators and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, which passed a similar resolution on Aug. 7, to see what action can be taken.

Borough Attorney Scott Arnette said he would check to see if there were any violations made by New Jersey Cemetery Board by not having proper notice locally, which could force the application process for the crematorium to start over.

“We’re hopeful we’re taking the proper steps,” Mayor Michael Mahon said. “We will oppose it with all the vigor we are able to muster.”

A resident who said he lived four houses down from the cemetery said the construction of the crematorium cause real estate values in the area to drop and eventually lead to lower tax assessments on the homes.

Resident Corey Vaughn spoke about the dangers of the chemicals the crematorium will expel and the length of time they will be expelled. He said some are not visible but are still dangerous.

“Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they are not there,” Vaughn said.

Mahon encouraged residents to email and call representatives from the NJDEP, New Jersey Cemetery Board, New Jersey State Department of Health and the owner of Woodbine Cemetery and make their feelings heard.

“What I would like to do is jam their inboxes, I’d like to have every resident possible respond,” Mahon said. “Speak loudly and clearly in word and with voice to anyone of these people responsible for granting this permit at some point in the process.”

Oceanport residents, officials incensed over planned crematory at local cemetery
By MaryAnn Spoto | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on August 11, 2014 at 7:36 AM

http://www.nj.com/monmouth/index.ssf/2014/08/oceanport_residents_officials_upset_over_planned_crematory_at_local_cemetery.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

More than 20 years ago, New Jersey adopted a law giving towns greater say over the siting of crematories in response to a facility planned for a cemetery in Oceanport.

Since then, after the law was slowly and quietly gutted, the same cemetery is renewing efforts to build a crematory, incensing the neighbors and local elected officials who said they were blindsided by the application and angry over the absence of communication.

“The lack of information to the borough of Oceanport and the residents is kind of appalling,” said Councilman Joseph Irace. “It’s kind of frustrating. You get more information from a neighbor who wants to put up a fence.”

Irace said the borough last month received a letter informing officials of a plan to site a crematory at Woodbine Cemetery that would eventually go before the state Department of Health regarding emissions.

That’s all the information they’ve gotten, he said. He called the Department of Health, where officials told him they have no jurisdiction over crematories, Irace said. He called the state Department of Environmental Protection and got the same response, he said.

Donna Leusner, a health department spokeswoman, told The Star-Ledger that the state Division of Consumer Affairs has jurisdiction over those matters. A spokesman from that agency did not return a call for comment.

Irace said he understands the need for crematories, but wonders whether it’s a good fit for a town that’s just over 3 square miles and at a cemetery that is across the street from a park and abutting a small residential neighborhood.

He said Oceanport should receive more information about the planned facility than it’s getting. He said he wants to know whether it will operate around the clock and how emissions may or may not affect those nearby.

According to the Cremation Association of North America, crematories are not regulated by an environmental agency, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, because human remains are not considered solid waste.

Its website says that mercury emissions from a crematory at 2004 rates averaged about 0.15 pounds per crematory per year, about the size of a sugar cube.

Representatives did not return calls seeking comment.

Heather and Rich Tobias moved into their home adjacent to the cemetery 18 months ago. They said they’re “very worried” about the health of their four children, a pair of 1-year-old twins, a 6-year-old and an 11-year-old.

“I want to know what are the long-term effects on breathing toxins,” said Heather Tobias. “One of my children already has compromised lungs.”

They attended a council meeting last week to try to learn some answers, but didn’t get many, they said. They suspect the crematory will be built in the lot behind their backyard, about 20 to 30 feet away.

She said she’s sent letters and emails to the cemetery owner last week looking for some answers but hasn’t received a response.

“We would have never purchased the house if there was a crematory there already,” Heather Tobias said. “We’re also concerned about our house value going way down.”

Opposition grows over crematory in Oceanport 8-14-2014
By KENNY WALTER
Staff Writer

http://atl.gmnews.com/weekinreview/69645

Mayor Michael Mahon is urging Oceanport residents to bombard state officials with messages opposing a proposed crematory.

Mahon gave the crowd of residents at the Aug. 7 Borough Council meeting contact information for calling, emailing and writing the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), New Jersey Cemetery Board and Woodbine Cemetery to reject the proposal, citing potential health and safety impacts on the residential area.

“What I’d like to do is jam their inbox,” he said. “I’d like to have every resident take the letter, copy it four times, mail it to these individuals.

“Jam the inbox, jam the mailbox, clog up the voicemail, speak loudly and clearly … to these people who are responsible for granting these permits.” The proposal for the crematory at the Maple Avenue cemetery first became known earlier this month when cemetery owners applied for a DEP air quality permit, and Mahon was notified of the application.

Under state law, applicants must seek an air quality permit from the DEP and approval from the cemetery board for a crematory. According to the borough’s business administrator, John O. Bennett III, the local municipality has no jurisdiction.

However, Borough Attorney Scott Arnette said during the meeting that he would research all legal options the borough has to block the application or restart the notification process.

Bennett said residents surrounding the cemetery were not properly notified of the DEP application. He said the only notice was published in a newspaper that is not circulated in the borough.

“We argued that notification in a newspaper that circulates in a different county is not sufficient,” he said. “Trying to get this done under the radar is part of this opposition.

“We are continuing to push for a public hearing.”

During the meeting, several residents agreed with borough officials, citing health concerns as the reason for their opposition.

“Just because you can’t smell or see the toxins doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” resident Corey Vaughn said.

Following public comment, Mahon requested that all residents in attendance come to the microphone to state their names and announce that they object to a crematory in Oceanport. In total, 33 residents followed the mayor’s lead, along with every member of the Borough Council and borough administration.

According to Borough Engineer William White, the application includes a smokestack that would be 17 feet high and 20 inches wide. He said the machinery would operate between 30 and 73 hours per week.

The DEP recently closed a public comment period, during which only Bennett and White officially objected to the proposal. An air quality permit had not been issued as of last week.

However, White, whose home is located adjacent to the cemetery, predicted the applicant would be successful in obtaining the permit.

“Here you are going to put a stack up with emissions, but we get no notification,” he said. “I abut the property and I got no notification.”

Bob Considine, DEP press officer, said in an email that the application must meet several standards set by the department to obtain a permit. These include minimum temperature for burning, maximum thresholds of contaminants on a daily and annual basis, maintenance and record keeping.

According to Considine, some of the pollutants tracked include volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, lead and other hazardous air pollutants.

“Typically, when standard best practices are applied, the parameters of the permit are met,” he said. “However, DEP air inspectors reserve the right to do stack testing if there is any reason to believe that standards aren’t being met.”

The current proposal is the second Woodbine has made for a crematory. A 2001 proposal was eventually dropped after a state law, which was signed by Bennett in his then-role as Senate president and acting governor, was passed to give municipal councils the authority to reject such applications.

That law was amended in 2011, placing the authority to approve or reject crematory proposals with the state cemetery board.

According to Bennett, an official application to the cemetery board is likely pending the issuance of the air quality permit.

Along with the opposition from the Borough Council, administration and residents, Bennett said state Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders have joined the opposition to the crematory.

During the meeting, former West Long Branch resident Thomas DeBruin suggested the borough enlist support from neighboring towns West Long Branch and Eatontown in opposing the crematory.

During the meeting, the council passed a resolution officially stating opposition to the crematory, and Mahon said the borough would continue to explore all options.

“We will oppose it with all the vigor that we could muster and continue this fight on behalf of the community,” he said. “It is not just about your backyard — it is our backyard.”

A representative of Woodbine declined to comment on the matter.

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