Staten Island is looking to Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage for relief from the "scourge" of boom parties that blast noise across the body of water separating the two states.

Richmond County District Attorney Michael McMahon sent a letter to Bollwage about the noisy gatherings, which McMahon said happen on a "near nightly basis" in Elizabeth and can be heard on Staten Island 5 miles across the Arthur Kill waterway.

Boom parties are gatherings of large groups that blast music from massive speakers. Water tends to carry the noise beyond the location of the party.

"We have all heard from constituents across the borough who have reported loud, repetitive music that shakes their homes, keeps them up at night and greatly impacts their quality of life," according to McMahon's letter, which was also signed by the Staten Island borough president, U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., and other lawmakers.

Noise ordinances on the books

The letter points out noise ordinances in Elizabeth that prohibit noise above 50 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Elizabeth police are to enforce the law.

"We must reject the notion that there is nothing that can be done to stop those who gather night in and night out to host these 'parties.' Although we acknowledge that the Elizabeth Police Department has made some effort to address this issue, to date, they unfortunately have been unsuccessful. We urge you and them to do more to put an end to this scourge," the letter says.

A city spokeswoman issued a one-sentence response to the letter.

"The City of Elizabeth is aware of the issue and our Code Enforcement Office and Police Department are working on it."

It happens in New Jersey, too

New Jersey was at the receiving end of boom parties earlier this summer with music carrying across the Delaware River into Bordentown Township and Cinnaminson.

State Sen. Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, said he met with Philadelphia city officials in April and came away positive that they would take steps to deal with the problem. Cinnaminson Police Chief Richard Calabrese will be meeting with city officials via Zoom on Friday to discuss progress.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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