A Monmouth County man drove a load of concrete mix to Newark and dumped it down a storm drain on Thursday, according to Newark police.

A member of Newark's Code Enforcement watched as John Clark, 32, of Highlands, pulled up in a truck and poured the unused concrete, topping off the drain in the area of Roseville Avenue and Orange Street, Newark police said.

The truck was confiscated.

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Clarke was arrested and faces charges of illegal dumping and illegal transporting of solid waste. A first offense for dumping carries a mandatory fine of $2,500 for the first offense, increasing to $10,000 for subsequent offenses, mandatory loss of license, forfeiture of vehicle and mandatory community service for up to 90 days.

John Clarke
John Clarke (Newark police)

Newark Engineering Department Director Philip Scott did not return a message on Friday afternoon asking how the concrete will be removed and how much was dumped into the drain.

Newark is participating in a new Department of Environmental Protection initiative launched in February to help municipalities deal with illegal dumping.

Illegal dumping can cost communities millions of dollars each year, which in turn can drive down property values due to safety concerns. It also has untold quality of life impacts, DEP Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Dragon said.

Selected communities will receive training and support on pressing charges and suing offenders. Communities also will be provided with state-of-the-art Q-Star Technology FlashCam deterrent cameras, which provide the ability to capture illegal activity.

A Newark man was charged in 2019 with dumping large amounts of trash under Route 78 and Route 22, between Frelinghuysen Avenue and Route 21. The Route 78 dump site caught fire in 1989 and damaged the bridge.

Previous reporting by Jen Ursillo was used in this report

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