On Wednesday July 18, the Appeals Court issued an injunction prohibiting transport and assembly of the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority's 38-story industrial wind turbine until the court finally hands down their decision on a case that might prevent that from ever happening. The IWT is planned for their plant in Union Beach. The five pro-turbine BRSA commissioners knew all too well that the motion for the injunction was under consideration and timely issuance a very real possibility, and yet the BRSA trucked in and assembled two huge cranes needed for the turbine's assembly at great cost to all of us ratepayers.
The eight towns serviced by the BRSA are Aberdeen, Hazlet, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Marlboro, Matawan and Union Beach. Only Hazlet, Holmdel, and Union Beach appoint commissioners - two each.
The BRSA was warned not to undertake further construction efforts. On June 23rd, 2010, Judge Tassini wrote in a decision that, "The Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority proceeds at its own risk of removal and remedy, should it not ultimately succeed on the merits of this case." Lawrence Baier of NJDEP stated in a letter copied to the BRSA that, "I am certain that BRSA is acutely aware that any construction undertaken while this matter is in litigation would be at their own risk." Yet the commissioners keep spending our (ratepayer) money on their boondoggle project without having fully secured the full legal right to build it.
I am sure the BRSA will ratchet up their rhetoric as the issue moves forward, attempting to blame the Borough of Union Beach and local protesters for causing the BRSA to hemorrhage ratepayer money on the project. A former commissioner even suggested at a recent BRSA open meeting that the BRSA consider suing Union Beach to recover the cost overruns once the turbine is built. Given the ongoing appeal, and given the stern warnings by the court and the DEP not to proceed until when and if they prevail in court, the fault clearly lies with the BRSA. I am sure the courts will see it that way too if the BRSA tries to sue Union Beach yet again. And imagine if they trucked the IWT into Union Beach, built it, and were then forced by the court to disassemble and remove it. I think the truck route towns of Marlboro, Matawan, Keyport, Hazlet, Aberdeen and also the county would be more than a little bit upset. It's time for new management at the BRSA.