NJSEA settles with Kearny, agrees to close Keegan Landfill

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Kearny residents' complaints about a terrible odor are finally being heard.

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has agreed to permanently close the Keegan Landfill.

The smell of rotten eggs has been coming from hydrogen sulfide from the landfill. After years of complaints, the state agency unanimously ruled to settle with the town.

The resolution will permanently close the landfill, cap it and pay Kearny up to $250,000. Reports say once the landfill is capped, it will be transformed into a recreational space with public access to a nearby marsh.

The legal battle began in April when Kearny sued the NJSEA with concerns about the landfill emitting hydrogen sulfide at rates higher than the state's standard. The invisible gas with a powerful rotten egg smell carried to residential areas and raised both health and quality-of-life concerns.

"The Keegan Landfill has been detrimental to the health of our residents and the entire community fought to see a tangible plan put forward to permanently cap and close the facility," says Mayor Al Santos. "Together we proved how powerful our voices can be when the work collaboratively with our local legislators to accomplish a common goal to protest the well-being of our community."

The health officer for Kearny says they've received over 150 complaints of people being sick from the smell.

Residents say "it's justice, finally."

"Kearny deserves it--it's a joint community," one resident said. "There's Harvey Field with the kids so they deserve it. They deserve to have healthy air."

A judge ordered it closed in September, but the NJSEA had appealed to keep it open.

Reports say the west side of the landfill will be the first section covered and should be completed by the end of 2020. They then will get started on the east side of the following year.

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