- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

EAGLESWOOD, N.J. (AP) - Two of New Jersey’s largest environmental organizations and a homeowners’ group have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the construction of a dredge spoil facility along the Barnegat Bay.

The plaintiffs claim the state’s Environmental Protection Department failed to require the project’s developer to comply with several key environmental laws, such as filing an environmental impact statement. Their suit was filed in the appellate division of state Superior Court.

In authorizing the project, state officials said no environmental impact statement was needed because the 26-acre site in Eagleswood was briefly used a dredge spoil facility in 1983, when the land was privately owned. The state purchased the property in 2005.

The site sits along the bay near the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

Environment New Jersey and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation announced the suit on Wednesday. They are joined in the legal fight by homeowners who live near the site in southern Ocean County.

“This project stinks to high heaven,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “DEP is willingly violating numerous environmental laws to site a massive dump next to a residential neighborhood and a wildlife refuge. The courts are our last option to stop this project.”

Lawrence Hajna, a DEP spokesman, declined comment on the litigation. He said the agency has not yet received a copy of the suit.

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