Home > Uncategorized > Hometown Of Ciba-Geigy Childhood Cancer Cluster Nightmare Opposes Murphy DEP Sweetheart Deal With Corporate Polluter BASF

Hometown Of Ciba-Geigy Childhood Cancer Cluster Nightmare Opposes Murphy DEP Sweetheart Deal With Corporate Polluter BASF

Town Blindsided And Was Not Consulted By DEP Prior To Cutting BASF Dirty Deal

Mayor Blasts DEP Settlement

Green Mafia Cheerleading Exposed (Again)

The town of Toms River NJ, home of the Ciba-Geigy childhood cancer cluster nightmare, adopted a Resolution strongly opposing the DEP proposed “Natural Resource Damage” (NRD) legal settlement with corporate chemical giant BASF, the world’s largest chemical corporation with about $100 BILION in annual revenues.

BASF purchased Ciba-Geigy in 2009 and thereby assumed liability for the cleanup and compensation for toxic pollution damages from the massive contaminated Superfund site that still, after 40 years, is not yet cleaned up.

The Asbury Park Press reported the town’s opposition:

Reading from a strongly worded resolution adopted recently by the council, [Mayor] Hill said the draft plan “does not go far enough to hold BASF accountable for the still unhealed injuries their clandestine and noxious operations inflicted on the local environment, economy and public health.”

The resolution notes that under the terms of the proposed settlement, made public by the Department of Environmental Protection earlier this month, BASF will not pay any monetary penalties for “the cesspool it created” on the sprawling property.


Just as bad, the town was blindsided by the deal.

DEP failed to consult with or even notify the township before publicly announcing the proposed deal in a press release:

[Mayor] Hill said the township was surprised to hear about the proposed settlement, and said Toms River should have a say in any resolution to the litigation. Councilman Justin Lamb said, “I believe that, again, we should have a seat at the head of the table there.”

DEP is, at best, totally incompetent in not having consulted with the Township in negotiating the deal (of course, they could be corrupt as well). And it was outrageous of DEP not to even give them a heads up before issuing a self congratulatory press release.

“Historic” my ass!

The DEP deal provides no financial or other compensation to the township or to its residents or to the families harmed by toxic corporate pollution.

(but DEP was sure to get $100,000 cash plus additional future costs to pay for DEP salaries. They protect themselves).

The Township noted major flaws in the DEP deal and made its demands clear:

Toms River leaders are expressing opposition to a proposed state settlement that would set aside 1,000 acres of the former Ciba-Geigy Corp. Superfund site for open space, saying development should be banned on the entire 1,255-acre parcel.

Toms River should receive the 250 acres that are not slated to be preserved under the settlement of litigation between current property owner BASF and the state Department of Environmental Protection, Mayor Maurice B. “Mo” Hill Jr. and the Township Council contend. Township officials fear BASF could have development plans for that land.

Hill said the township would like to ensure that the land is kept undeveloped and said BASF should not be able to profit from any redevelopment at the site.

The township wants the nature center to include the story of chemical contamination at the site, and also is asking that a fund, administered by a trustee appointed by the township, be set aside to provide future payments to families whose health may have been affected by pollution produced by Ciba’s operations.

The strong opposition by the township should be solid grounds to sink the deal as not in the public interest (we are still researching and will provide our own critical assessment soon).

The Township’s strong opposition exposes the total sellout to the world’s largest corporate polluter.

But it also exposes the political manipulation by Murphy DEP Commissioner LaTourette  and the corruption of the Green Mafia cheerleaders who SUPPORTED the deal in a DEP press release (and the basis for their support was contradicted by the Township).

 In an over the top self congratulatory DEP press release describing this corporate sellout as “historic”, one of the worst NJ Green Mafia cheerleaders said this:

“New Jersey Audubon enthusiastically supports this use of Natural Resources Damages to create forests and parks in Toms River,” said Alex Ireland, President and CEO of New Jersey Audubon. “Conversion of sites like this into safe, publicly accessible forests and parks should be the model for other similar sites throughout the state, and especially in our urban areas. NJDEP and BASF have worked together to clean up and restore a contaminated area for residents to enjoy. This project is particularly significant in that the funding is going directly back to the community that experienced the damages from contamination.  New Jersey Audubon is glad to see that habitat for wildlife and birds will be protected and enjoyed by so many in upcoming years.”

First of all, Mr. Ireland (the former Exxon Mobil hack) is flat out lying: the DEP and BASF have not “clean[ed] up and restore[d]” the site. It is only half cleaned up and has not been restored at all.

Second, in light of the township’s strong criticism and opposition to the plan, Mr. Ireland is exposed as a fraud in saying this:

This project is particularly significant in that the funding is going directly back to the community that experienced the damages from contamination. 

We tried to warn about how dangerous this corporate fraud was, see:

The move signals an expansion of NJ Audubon’s role and influence into DEP regulatory policy, and not just on forestry, birding and various corporate scams that parade under the banner of “stewardship”..

Their new VP of Stewardship, Mr Ireland, has backgrounds in regulatory compliance and site remediation.

NJ DEP climate, regulatory and site remediation programs allow multiple opportunities for the kind of corporate scams Mr. Ireland worked on at Exxon-Mobil.

And how foolish does DEP Deputy Commissioner Moriarty now look in light of the town’s opposition:

“Having spent my childhood on the other side of the fence from this polluted site, I know what this settlement will mean to the families and children of those neighborhoods,” said Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Protection Sean D. Moriarty, who oversees the DEP team that developed this settlement.

How cynical can you get when you exploit families and children that have suffered a childhood cancer cluster? And to your home town!

Finally, as someone who spent almost 7 years of my career there, I am embarrassed to have to note this, the NJ Sierra Club – now a national embarrassment – joined the Green mafia in misleading the public about this dirty deal:

“The Ciba Geigy historic settlement is great news for open space and preservation in Toms River,” said Taylor McFarland, Conservation Manager for the Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter. “More importantly, it is a step in the right direction for the people who have been suffering from the contamination of The Ciba-Geigy Superfund Site for decades. This site has been on the Superfund List since the 1980s and it is still one of the most contaminated sites in the state if not the country.  We strongly support holding polluters accountable and we applaud NJDEP for moving forward with this historic 1,000-acre restoration project.”

The DEP deal does NOTHING for the people who have suffered the toxic contamination for decades, as the township’s Resolution noted.

It does not remotely hold corporate polluters accountable – just the opposite, it lets them off the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

I hope NJ media can learn from this experience and see how the Murphy DEP exploits their green mafia cheerleaders.

And I hope that the Foundation funders, major donors, and members of NJ environmental organizations wake up to how corrupt their leaders have become.

A picture is worth a thousand words – and we told you this was coming:


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