July 3, 2019

Mayor, Council Legally Constrained From Commenting on Criminal Investigation

To the Editor:

As Princeton Mayor and Council, we would like to take this opportunity to update residents about the alleged dumping of hazardous materials at the Sewer Department site on River Road. We are deeply concerned and distressed by this apparent violation of the public trust. There is an ongoing criminal investigation, so we are legally constrained in what we are able to say about the situation, but we would like to give residents as much information as possible. We will post updates on the municipal website as new information is available.

Here’s what we can tell you: to date, three employees have been terminated. The municipality may take further administrative action as warranted. The municipality is also reviewing the organizational structure of its sewer operations and tightening oversight procedures.

We are concerned specifically about whether the dirt dumped at the River Road site contained any hazardous materials. Princeton has hired a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP), Whitman and Associates, to thoroughly test the site. The LSRP will work with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to identify and remediate the issues pointed out by NJDEP, perform a site survey (including mapping wetlands), and test to see which, if any, hazardous materials or other contaminates are present on the site. The LSRP will ensure that the site is properly remediated. We want to assure you that the municipality is also taking the appropriate steps to hold responsible those who dumped materials.

We remain open to hearing your concerns about this situation and will work hard to ensure that our residents are kept up to date. We are grateful that these allegations have been brought to light so that we can take the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

Mayor Liz Lempert, Council President
Crumiller, and Council members
David Cohen, Leticia Fraga, Eve Niedergang,
Tim Quinn, and Dwaine Williamson