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About 50 Truck Loads of Mystery Soil Illegally Dumped on a Historic Montgomery Twp Farm

By Barbara A. Preston | March 22, 2022


A beautiful spring day in March was marred. Someone with a dump truck illegally spilled voluminous piles of mystery soil off Staats Farm Road, across the street from a residential area. The soil appears to be chock-full of chunks of concrete, occasional bricks, and a pipe or two.

Illegal soil at 694 Millstone River Road, Montgomery Township
Staats Farm — 694 Millstone River Road, Montgomery Township. Photo by Barbara A. Preston.

The illegal piles were viewable on March 20 from Staats Farm Road, just beyond a rusty chain, and a sign that reads: “Posted - Private Property. Trespassing for any purpose is strictly forbidden. Violators will be prosecuted.”


Montgomery Township Administrator Donato Nieman said the matter is being investigated by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, the Somerset Union Soil Conservation District, the Agricultural Board, and Montgomery police. Soil samples were taken, and are being tested.


“We want to ensure the soil is removed and that it is not contaminated in any way, shape, or form,” he said.


The 80-acre farm is owned by Barrett and Sarah Quick of Hillsborough, and is known by locals as the historic Staats Farm property. Is is located along the Millstone Valley Scenic Byway. The Quicks had called the police to report the illegal dumping on their property.


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“The reason illegal dumping occurs is because of the costs involved in putting the soil somewhere (a legal dump), and getting the permission to do it,” Nieman said. “We have regulations regarding soil removal in Montgomery Township and, also, where and what soil may be brought in.”


There is a permit process involved as well, he said. The process ensures the soil being removed does not harm the environment and that the soil being brought into town is clean. Most municipalities have these regulations.


Montgomery police began investigating the case of the mystery soil on March 17, according to Lt. Silvio Bet. “About 50 truck loads of soil” were dumped, Bet said.


Anyone with information should contact the Montgomery Township Police Department at 908-359-3222.

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