ROXBURY - Roxbury Township has uncovered documents that shed additional light on how much homebuyers were told about possible contamination at the Fenimore Landfill.
Earlier this month, a Kane In Your Corner investigation exposed how the Poet’s Peak development was built just 100 yards from the abandoned landfill. Some homeowners say they were never informed that the dump had been improperly closed and might be leaking chemicals. The landfill was also omitted from Roxbury township’s list of potentially contaminated sites.
New Jersey law states that new homebuyers who ask are entitled to be informed about any off-site contamination “which may affect the value of the residential real estate”.
Since our initial investigation, Roxbury town officials have searched their files and located an additional document indicating that some level of disclosure was made to prospective buyers. It appears that buyers who inquired were also provided with a second document, which contained a sentence stating that there were two landfills in town, including Fenimore. Mayor Fred Hall argues that by doing this, the town lived up to its legal obligation.
This disclosure, however, falls far short of the warning recommended by the Roxbury Environmental Commission. In 1995, as Poet’s Peak was about to be approved, commissioners sent a memo to town officials urging them that “the issue of Fenimore’s Dump must be addressed.” They argued that in addition to telling buyers about the dump’s location, the town should also “make sure that all potential buyers are informed… (the landfill) was improperly closed and may contain pollutants.”
The evidence indicates the town did not do that.