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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2004

Contact: Peter Boger
(609) 984-1795

 

DEP BEGINS TIRE PILE REMOVAL IN MIDDLE TOWNSHIP
Cleanup of Wildlife Management Area Made Possible Through McGreevey's FY05 Budget

(04/76) TRENTON -- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the DEP was contracting to have more than 2,000 tires removed from a state wildlife management area in Middle Township. Funds for the tire removal were made available through a new appropriation in the FY05 budget signed by Governor McGreevey yesterday.

"Governor McGreevey's new budget recognizes the importance of removing tire piles to improve the quality of life in our communities and to reduce mosquito breeding habitat that can increase the public health risk of West Nile Virus or eastern equine encephalitis," said Commissioner Campbell. "I appreciate the vigilance of Assemblymen Jeff Van Drew and John Gibson for bringing this particular tire problem to my attention."

The new state budget includes a fee of $1.50 for each tire sold. A portion of this fee will be appropriated to the state Department of Transportation for snow removal and winter roadwork, while $2.3 million will be appropriated to the DEP annually for tire pile removals statewide.

The tires in Middle Township are on a 70-acre portion of the 12,000-acre Cape May Wetlands Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and were collected during a DEP cleanup of the property in February. In addition to the more than 2,000 tires recovered from the property, DEP also found seven abandoned vehicles - some dating back to the 1930s.

The DEP acquired this part of the WMA in 1999 and has been working to improve and to restore the natural areas for the enjoyment of bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts. The removal of the tire piles is the latest step in improving these salt marshes that are frequented by migratory birds.

While the Cape May County Mosquito Control Commission had been treating the tire pile on the WMA with larvacide to reduce mosquito populations, the DEP has been working to remove the tires altogether. With the new funding in the FY05 budget, DEP is now soliciting bids for contractors to remove the tires from Middle Township.

The DEP urges residents to report anyone dumping tires or abandoning junk. Residents can report suspected violations to the DEP hotline at (877) WARN-DEP.

 

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