My family and I live in Upper Freehold Township, which is in western Monmouth County. Very rural, like your area, with a real value on farming. The guy who turned his farm into one of these facilities has a suspiciously similar story to the one you’re being told about his grandfather’s land, wanting to keep it agricultural, etc. And that’s the first problem. Because this is (or was) agricultural land, he has sought Right to Farm protections, and that’s made it very difficult for anyone to get him to comply with anything. To be clear, this is not an agricultural activity— it is waste disposal. Yet your neighbor is saying things like she “wanted to keep it ag,” which is a red flag for me. So if I were you, I’d want it to be absolutely stated by every local, county and state official that this will not be eligible for Right to Farm protections.
I’m glad NJDEP has told you they’ll be on top of any complaints, but it has not been our experience. The lack of responsiveness got so bad my neighbors started keeping a log of the odors and every time they called. So again, I’d want some clarification that there’s no change in status or land use that’s going to change DEP’s jurisdiction. I’d want a name, number, email and the name of the bureau you can call 24/7.
As you probably know, this is a relatively recent state law and so they want it to work. Hold their feet to the fire.
Maybe the last point I’d make is there are many odor reduction efforts that can be undertaken, and it sounds like this one is well financed, so I’d want an assurance from local and county health officials (and maybe the state DOH, Rutgers ag folks) that every single precaution that can be asked for is being done to protect your water, air and soil. Now is the time, not after they get the approvals.
Good luck. Please feel free to reach out. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org