DELAWARE RIVER FLOOD TASK
(06/09) TRENTON - Department of Environmental
Protection Acting Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today encouraged
New Jersey residents to review a newly released draft report that
outlines measures for averting the devastating effects of major
flooding in communities along the Delaware River.
Produced by the New Jersey Flood Mitigation Task Force, the draft
report on Delaware River flood mitigation is available on the DEP's
Web site. Interested parties can comment on the draft report now
through March 15. The final report will be sent to Governor Jon
S. Corzine this spring.
"We won't forget the losses so many New Jersey families suffered
during the storms last spring. The flood task force members have
made significant strides toward identifying a comprehensive list
of actions to reduce the impacts of flooding in the future,"
Acting Commissioner Jackson said.
"With spring rains in the offing and a heightened potential
for runoff, we are moving ahead on several key task force recommendations,
rather than risk losing opportunities to help protect lives and
property while we await a final report," she said.
In its draft report, the task force calls for reforms to flood
response, flood-plain management and land-use regulations. Its recommendations
- Strengthening protection of flood plains and homes through tougher
regulations for building in a flood plain, improving flood mapping
and ensuring compliance with building codes for construction in
the flood plain.
- Pursuing both structural and non-structural flood control measures
including property buyouts and effective watershed management
- Establishing a robust hazard mitigation plan to ensure necessary
planning and additional resources for reducing flood risk.
- Providing public outreach and education programs that give
homeowners focused assistance before and after flooding.
The DEP already is taking action on several key flooding-mitigation
- Establishing funding for developing state-of-the-art flood
plain mapping and studying the feasibility of implementing flood-control
measures in the watershed.
- Coordinating with the Department of Community Affairs to address
flood-plain building code issues.
- Working with the Delaware River Basin Commission and the National
Weather Service to achieve better watershed reservoir management
practices and address snowmelt issues.
- Assisting the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management in
coordinating efforts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency
and the DEP's Green Acres Program on property buyouts along the
- Establishing procedures to assist communities in developing
disaster mitigation plans.
Last spring, following a major rainstorm at the end of March and
another during the first days of April, the Delaware River overflowed
its banks, flooding some 3,500 homes and forcing the evacuation
of more than 5,500 people. In response, the Flood Mitigation Task
Force was formed to study and implement measures to reduce future
impacts of flooding in New Jersey communities.
The task force held four public meetings in Warren, Hunterdon,
and Mercer counties to hear residents' concerns.
After the public-comment period ends on March 15, the task force
will hold another public meeting, a date for which has not yet been
To review the report, visit www.nj.gov/dep/njflood/.