The Concerned Citizens Coalition of Long Branch is an all-volunteer community organization formed in June 2002, after many residents became ill from fumes emanating from the excavation of the contaminated soil on the site of the former Long Branch Manufactured Gas Plant. The Former Long Branch Manufactured Gas Plant site is located in Long Branch, New Jersey.
The Concerned Citizens Coalition of Long Branch working with its environmental justice partners. Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) petitioned the State Department of Health DOH and Federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Decease Registry (ATSDR) to Conduct a Analysis of Cancer Incidences near the site and the the findings were alarming.
The agencies found among other things, ” The area of Long Branch that had the highest potential for exposure to benzene and PAHs from the site, excess levels of esophageal cancer in females, lung cancer in males, and all cancers combined in males was found.”
The coalition and their partners expressed concern regarding health effects from past exposures associated with 11.2 acre facility that operated from the 1870s through the 1960s and used coal to produce manufactured gas for lighting homes, businesses, and street lamps. Hazardous wastes generated during the manufacturing process were disposed on-site and also migrated downstream to contaminate the Troutments Creek and Shrewsberry River.
Sampling was conducted by the EWA of the “Clean” Troutmans Creek and sampling results showed significant migration of Coal Tar and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, phenols, and cyanide in off-site residential areas.
The CCC and EWA worked together to submit and be nominated as the first Environmental Justice Community under the Governors Environmental Justice Task force.
The CCC and its partners have accomplished much, but now the the state of New Jersey seeks to reverse those gains by dismantling the task force and privatizing toxic site cleanups.
Through the relentless efforts of The Concerned Citizens Coalition and numerous supporters the remediation of the site and off-site areas is currently being conducted. However, there is still so much more to be done.