Wag Field Contamination Finally Cleared

Andrea Oliver, Staff Writer

On April 11 of 2019, a buried canister of, at the time, an unidentified liquid was compromised by a worker causing it to leak.

The chemical now identified as Methyltrichlorosilane, a clear highly flammable liquid, leaked into the ground causing an evacuation of the area. HAZMAT crews were brought in as a response to this dangerous situation in order to contain it. Residents were allowed back into their homes and the area at around 6:20 that night, but the HAZMAT crew was there until almost 11pm.

The dangerous materials were found on the site of what was supposed to become a rain garden. Now almost a year later, it has been declared that there is no soil contamination left from the incident. Borough Administrator Eric Maurer has stated in an email that the liquid, “vaporized once in contact with the atmosphere.”

After deciding to do a further survey of the area to make certain that the area was clean, a ground survey found an empty canister and scrap metal. Both of these have now been removed from the site and have been shown to be safe with no further contamination caused by these objects. After these were removed a final soil test was put in place and the area was declared as safe for use.

A statement from Mayor Goldberg about the situation was given on the matter, “We decided to investigate further — to assure ourselves, and the public, that there was no hazard.”

The rain garden is going to be completed in around two months. This rain garden is included along as a larger project by the Environmental Commission which will include nesting boxes for birds and new plants.