DEP BEGINS TIRE PILE REMOVAL IN
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.