Comprehensive Plan of Action Item #4
Require Post-Construction Soil Restoration
As part of the Barnegat Bay Action Plan Governor Chris Christie signed into law a measure that required the Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, through the State Soil Conservation Committee, to propose modifications to the exiting soil erosion and sediment control standards.
These modifications and standards would address soil compaction in Barnegat Bay as well as across the state because it is a recognized contributing factor in stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution in New Jersey's waterways.
The proposed modifications to the Technical Standards for Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey were published in the July 2nd New Jersey Register for public review and comment. A summary of the changes can be reviewed HERE.
Feedback must be submitted to the NJ Department of Agriculture by August 31, 2012. UPDATE: Deadline extended to October 5, 2012.
The proposed changes include soil restoration standards that will be applied to new development and re-development projects statewide, including Barnegat Bay. (The existing standards do not contain specific requirements to control soil compaction during construction activities and restore overall soil conditions at construction sites after construction is completed.)
The modifications promote soil health by reducing soil compaction and restoring soil structure to optimum natural condition during and on completion of construction activities, by including standards for topsoiling and land grading operations. Good soil health promotes healthy lawns and other vegetative growth with no or very little fertilizer, reduces stormwater runoff by increasing infiltration, and eliminates excessive irrigation needs.
Oversight and implementation of the new standards will be carried out by the local soil conservation districts at projects that require their soil erosion and sediment control approval.
The new soil compaction standards will be included in the Technical Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey when they are readopted. Once adopted the soil compaction standards will be applied in Barnegat Bay for all new development that require soil erosion and sediment control approval from the local soil conservation district. The re-adoption notice is scheduled to appear in the January New Jersey Register for public review and comment.
The DEP Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control in the Division of Water Resources Management participated on the Soil Compaction Subcommittee that was formed by the State Soil Conservation Committee and the NJ Department of Agriculture, to develop the draft soil compaction standards.
For more information, contact:
Brian McLendon, Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control (609) 633-7021