"Soil Contamination Hazards Run Deep for North Jersey Towns"

Contaminated fill, a little-noticed and largely unregulated health threat, is keeping some ball fields closed this spring in New Jersey ... and probably is a problem in many other areas.

"In any other year, workers would have already begun patching up sod and draining ball fields at Votee Park in Teaneck and Veterans Field in Edgewater to get ready for the spring sports season.

But those two picturesque parks will remain closed indefinitely after high levels of toxic chemicals were recently found in each. Residents are now concerned about the health of their children who often played on those fields. And both towns could face millions of dollars in cleanup costs.

Votee Park and Veterans Field present a cautionary tale for any town, county or non-profit group looking to rehabilitate their parks.
Park cleanups

Contaminated fill — often a mixture of soil and construction debris — brought in decades ago to help level the fields at Votee and Veterans is the likely culprit. Yet there are no safeguards to prevent similar contamination from happening elsewhere."

Scott Fallon reports for the Bergen Record March 11, 2012.

Source: Bergen Record, 03/13/2012