Mahwah October 7, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 3 Hazmat specialist’s testimony is challenged by Frank J. McMahon Scott Turner, a specialist in hazardous material risk assessment, provided the Mahwah Zoning Board with testimony regarding the potential risk of accidents at the Pilot truck stop site, and had that testimony challenged by a Pilot representative. Turner was hired by Ira Weiner, the attorney who represents three residents who have formed a non-profit group called Parents for Safety, LLC. The witness was challenged about the relevance of his expertise in risk assessment to the granting of a use variance under the state’s land use law, his opinion of the potential risk of hazardous materials accidents at the Pilot site, and whether the board has the jurisdiction to consider his opinions about the potential for those accidents. Pilot has presented the board with a plan to renovate the company’s existing 4.5-acre truck stop on the south side of Route 17 just south of the West Ramapo Avenue overpass into a truck and automobile fueling service station. Turner gave the board his opinions of the potential hazardous material risks at the site, but before he did, James Lott, the attorney for Pilot, challenged the relevancy of Turner’s testimony arguing that the zoning board is not responsible for emergency planning. Lott pointed out that Turner has never testified as a hazardous material expert in any other land use matter, and he said, “He is a self-proclaimed expert who has never testified in any other land use case. I don’t see how this is relevant to land use standards. This is nothing more than a shameless attempt to scare the public.” Weiner disagreed. “This goes to the heart of the issue and the board has the right to review safety issues,” he said. Although Mahwah Zoning Board Attorney Ben Cascio advised Weiner that hazardous material response and assessment is controlled by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the zoning board has no jurisdiction to address those issues, the majority of the board members agreed to allow Turner to proceed with his testimony. Turner described how a chemical spill at the Pilot site could affect people at the football field about 205 feet to the west of the subject property and the high school, which is 550 feet away. He described his observations of truck traffic at the Pilot site during a recent visit and the potential for truck accidents there. Board member William Dator asked how many accidents there have been at the Pilot site, and Turner said he did not know. Another board member, Nicholas Savino, voiced the opinion that accidents can happen now at the truck stop, so Turner’s testimony about potential accidents is not new. Savino also asked Turner if there had been any spills at the Pilot site, and Turner (continued on page 6) Valley Dental Group Announces A Winner! Dr. Allen Ghorashi, General Dentist, and his team awarded Edna Knapp a gift certificate for referring patients to our practice. Thank you for your Referrals, Edna! From your friends at Valley Dental Group, LLC in Ramsey, New Jersey 201-818-6565 The Smarter Choice for Ink and Toner -High quality ink and toner for most popular brands - 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed -Fraction of the price of buying new -Environmentally friendly 875 Route 17 South Ramsey, NJ 07446 ��������������������� ������������������������ 201-934-0020 The Ink and Toner Experts $2.00 Off Ink Refill and $6.00 Off Toner Refill Please bring in this ad for discount. ���������������������������� ��������������������� ���������� 25% OR 50% OFF ALL HALLOWEEN COSTUMES