(Passaic County, NJ) - Passaic County Administrator Anthony J. DeNova announced the temporary closure of portions of Weasel Brook Park in Clifton, New Jersey because of elevated levels of arsenic detected in soil sample testing performed by the County. As part of the due diligence for the Weasel Brook Park Phase II Improvement Project, a Preliminary Assessment Report (PAR) was completed in compliance with Green Acres Program Rules. A Preliminary Assessment is the process of collecting and reviewing available information to identify any potentially contaminated areas of concern on a property. The PAR identified potential historic agricultural use as an area of concern. Consequently, soil samples collected in the grass areas were analyzed for compounds associated with historically applied pesticides. The analytical results revealed elevated levels of arsenic in four areas of Weasel Brook Park. As a result, these four areas will be fenced off and restricted from further public access as a temporary precaution. The temporary closure does not impact the basketball courts, bathrooms, spray park, playground, and pavilion area, which will remain open for use.
The PAR findings were immediately reported to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and assigned Incident Number 18-04-12-1446-58. Passaic County Director of the Department of Health Dr. Charlene Gungil released the following statement on the PAR and closure of Weasel Brook Park:
The Passaic County Parks and Recreation Department will begin installation of a temporary fence in the restricted areas in the coming days. As information becomes available it will be disseminated to the public at www.passaiccountynj.org and through social media channels.Any residents seeking information can contact the Passaic County Department of Health at (973) 881-4396 or the 24/7 hotline at 973-881-2790.