BRICK-The Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority has hired Toms River land use attorney Edward F Liston, Jr. to represent the utility in its fight against Stavola Asphalt’s expansion of their Brick plan on Chambers Bridge Road. The MUA fears the plant’s expansion could compromise the quality and safety of the nearby Metedeconk River which runs alongside the Stavola operation.
The Metedeconk River is a primary drinking water source for residents of Brick Township.
“The Metedeconk River is the primary source of our water supply. Such a heavy industrial operation on the river just upstream from where we get our drinking water presents substantial risks to our water quality and our operations and we believe this would not be in the best interest of our customers,” said Brick MUA Chairman Gregory Flynn.
Stavola has operated the plant in Brick Township for over 70 years.
“I will be representing the Brick MUA as an objector to the Stavola application to increase and make larger their asphalt plant on Lanes Mills Road,” Liston said, confirming his firm will represent the town against the proposed project.
“What we are doing in Brick is replacing the original aging plant that has to be stopped and started many times each day with a new plant that will allow us to reduce the starting and stopping of the plant all day long,” Stavola said. “The new plant is better for the environment and allows us to store the asphalt for delivery without the need to run the plant all day long.”
The MUA disagrees, claiming the application submitted by Stavola will significantly expand its asphalt manufacturing operations at its plant on Chambers Bridge Road in Brick.
Residents in Brick Township were split on the project. While some said the plant has operated without incident and provides jobs within the community, others worried about health risks and traffic safety.
“It’s a disaster waiting to happen,” said Bruce Beyer.
“Overbuilding along the waterway and water pollution is a much bigger problem,” said Stephanie Burke.
Mark Covitz, an overdevelopment activist who is engaged in actions against several other big development projects across Ocean County said most sources of Metedeconk pollution come upstream from Brick’s borders and the township should manage what they can to protect the waterway.
“In Brick what are those pollution issues that are greater than Stavola,” he said. “Please keep in mind that Brick can only control what is in Brick, not development upstream. And the Stavola plant is on the border of Brick and Lakewood.”
Photo: Stock Photo.