Jun. 19, 2018
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AvalonBay halts construction due to environmental and health concerns

Courtesy photo - Rendering of AvalonBay planned Princeton development

By Bradley M. Koltz

Construction activities at the AvalonBay site have stopped, several stockpiles of materials have been covered with plastic sheeting, and the site is being wet down daily.

According to Princeton Municipal Administrator Marc Dashfield, Princetoní s staff and professionals, including the Whitman environmental firm, have been monitoring AvalonBayís construction activities on a daily basis. As part of this regular monitoring, they have determined that in likely anticipation of removing excess materials from the site, AvalonBay conducted a preliminary test and advised the Town that they have identified the presence of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

PCBs have been banned since he 1970s due to environmental concerns. PAHs are described as carcinogenic and mutinogenic substances by several sources.

In response, AvalonBay took additional samples and has sent them out for further testing. The results are expected within two weeks.

Avalon Bay has indicated that they will provide the test results to Princetonís staff and professionals.

In the interim, AvalonBay has fully covered all stockpiled materials and has been wetting the site down daily. Princetonís Health Officer, Jeff Grosser, and Princetonís environmental expert, Dr. Ira Whitman, have confirmed that these are the measures that need to be taken to safeguard the publicís health and safety.

Princetonís Health Officer has also confirmed that both the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the Mercer County Department of Health have been notified of the situation and have assigned a case number to the matter. Mr. Grosser is in regular contact with the County Health Department.

Until the results of AvalonBayís secondary testing are received and reviewed, Princeton will monitor the site daily to ensure that until such time as more information is available, AvalonBay continues keep the stockpiled materials covered and continues to wet down the site for dust control.

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