Judge: Dune building can restart in Margate

A federal judge is allowing a beach replenishment project in New Jersey that led to ponds of bacteria-laden water built up after a storm to resume.

Judge Renee Marie Bumb on Thursday granted the request by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to let the project continue.

The government went to court Wednesday to ask her to overturn a state judge’s ruling last week stopping the project while the two sides tried to work out a remedial plan.

Bumb gave the Army Corps conditions including fencing off any areas with ponding of two or more inches of water.

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The ponds of standing water are exactly what Margate residents had warned of in previous, unsuccessful litigation against the government’s plan to build the protective sand dunes at the coastal town south of Atlantic City.

During a December 2017 hearing engineer Chuck Dutill said the project would create a dangerous pond between the dunes and the bulkhead roughly 100 feet wide and stretching the length of the town.

Dutill said water flowing into the trench would carry oil, car materials, pesticides, trash, animal feces and debris. Federal and state environmental regulators at that time said those claims were exaggerated.

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