Mahwah July 15, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 7 Attorney objects to Pilot air quality testimony by Frank J. McMahon An attorney for Paks Fast Service, Inc., which owns the Valero Service Station located north of the Pilot Truck Stop on Route 17 in Mahwah, has challenged a Pilot environmental expert’s testimony about air quality at a recent zoning board of adjustment public meeting and asked that the expert’s testimony be stricken from the record. The environmental expert, Steven R. Ewing, provided testimony on an air quality report prepared by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in December 2007 at a previous zoning board meeting. At that time, he referred to the NJDEP report which was based on the current more intense use of the property and which concluded that the Pilot truck stop renovation plan would pose a negligible health impact on public health and air quality. As James Lott, Pilot’s attorney, began to question Ewing on emissions Pak’s attorney, Kevin Moore, objected, saying the author of the NJDEP report was not present at the meeting. He moved to have all of Ewing’s testimony on air quality excluded from the record because Ewing is not an air quality expert. Lott argued that the purpose of the environmental impact study prepared by Ewing was to evaluate all environmental conditions at the Pilot site, but Moore said, “You have to know about air quality to testify about it.” Ewing acknowledged that he had not prepared any air quality studies himself, but he often testifies about it by relying on other experts. Lott then said he would have another expert testify on air quality, but Moore insisted that Ewing’s testimony on air quality be stricken from the record. Board member William Dator noted that Ewing repeated what the state said about air quality and he felt the board could apply whatever validity it wants to Ewing’s testimony. But Ira Weiner, an attorney representing several residents who oppose the Pilot plan, asked how Ewing could evaluate the state’s report on air quality if he has no expertise in that area. Board Attorney Ben Cascio ultimately ruled that Moore and Weiner could bring in other experts to counter Ewing’s testimony. As a result, he said there was no reason to strike Ewing’s testimony. A. Roger Greenway, an environmental expert who has testified before the U.S. Congress about air quality and has done a number of air quality studies and written a textbook on air quality permits, then provided additional testimony on the NJDEP report. He said he thought it was a thorough report and agreed with its conclusions that the impact of the truck stop on air quality was acceptable and well within the parameters of the NJDEP. Glenn Phillips, a professional engineer, also testified at the last meeting and reiterated the details of Pilot’s plan to renovate its site as a truck and automobile fueling service station with a convenience store. William Hamilton, a landscape architect, described the landscaping plan for the site. Hamilton said 125 trees would be planted on the site with 200 shrubs and over 100 ground plantings. The landscaping would have an irrigation system, he said. The vegetation along Ridge Road would be removed and replaced with a black vinyl coated chain link fence with a 1.5-inch grid, such as is used for pool enclosures, along with emerald green arborvitae and spruce and dogwood trees. The southern end of the property would be cleaned up and low maintenance ground cover would be planted there with large boulders to discourage trespassing. At the request of Zoning Board Chairman George Cimis, Hamilton agreed, however, to extend the chain link fence to meet the existing chain link fence on the (continued on page 23) Headed to Cooperstown The Mahwah Youth Sports Boosters 12U Black and 12U Blue teams are headed to Cooperstown this year for a week of tournament play. The Mahwah Black team recently held a fundraiser at the Mahwah Bar and Grill. Pictured are Mahwah Black players Eddie Gordon, Joe Woerner, Justin Huang, Tom Kessler and Shane Curry. Both teams are seeking donations to help defray the cost of the tournament. Anyone wishing to help out can send a check made out to: 12U Fundraiser c/o TMYSB, PO Box 508, Mahwah, NJ 07430. Baseball jackets and other apparel are also being sold to help raise money. 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