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Deal, N.J. Residents Furious Over Dumping In Beach Replenishment Project

DEAL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Residents have taken action in Monmouth County, New Jersey after witnessing unauthorized dumping on their beach.

As CBS2's Meg Baker reported Monday, Agate Construction has been accused of illegal dumping of materials at Roosevelt Beach in Deal, New Jersey in a sediment removal project.

Paul Williams has been surfing at Roosevelt Beach since he was a kid. The ocean was crisp and clear when he took to the waves on Monday, and he wants to keep it that way.

"Somebody should be stopping it," Williams said. "I mean, our taxes pay for this beach replenishment that we didn't ask for to begin with. Now, they're making it unsafe for everybody."

The Army Corps of Engineers hired Agate Construction to dig and remove sediment, as part of building a pipe to carry river floodwaters away.

It is called an outflow pipe, and is part of the Superstorm Sandy recovery project.

"If we weren't there to catch it, the dumping would have presumably taken place over the course of a few hours," said Andrew Chambarry of Monmouth County.

The project to mitigate flooding continued as of Monday. Over the weekend, residents suspected that something wasn't being done properly and sounded the alarm.

"It's up to us surfers and beachgoers to stop it," Williams said.

Chambarry, a member of a beach watchdog group, first spotted the dump trucks. HE posted them to social media.

"Immediately, public outcry was rapid and swift," he said.

An investigator for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was on the scene Monday after receiving multiple calls from residents about the unauthorized dumping.

NJDEP said the material was sediment from dredging the Poplar Brook. It was silt – and clay-like, unlike sand.

"I just hope they clean it up or find a way, because our beaches will be ruined when they do things like this," said Sharon Pastre of Monmouth County.

"I think somebody should have been monitoring it," said another Deal resident.

The Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement: "The contractor was ordered immediately to stop work and begin removing the material out of the surf zone and relocating it upland until it could be properly disposed as is required"

DEP is testing the site to make sure it is not contaminated.

CBS2 reached out to subcontractor Agate Contractors and has not received a response back.

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