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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2006

 

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994
Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795

 

DEP UPGRADES STANDARDS TO PROTECT SURFACE WATER

(06/57) TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today announced the final adoption of regulations that will upgrade the state’s surface water quality standards to achieve cleaner water statewide.

“With these upgraded standards, we can safeguard our public drinking water supplies and protect critical habitats for threatened and endangered species,” said Commissioner Jackson.

The newly adopted rules establish more stringent standards for more than 100 toxic pollutants to protect human health and a broad range of aquatic species. Discharge permits will be revised to ensure compliance with these tougher standards, which are based on updated scientific information.

With this adoption, five streams will receive a Category 1 (C1) designation, which prevents any measurable deterioration in existing water quality, limiting development impacts and discharges to streams. The five streams, totaling 12 miles, received the upgraded classification based on their trout production status. The designations were based on stream sampling data collected by DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.

DEP’s Surface Water Quality Standards establish the water quality criteria necessary to protect the state’s waters. Each water body is assigned specific designated uses, a stream classification and anti-degradation designation. The standards are used to develop effluent limitations for wastewater discharges, to identify protected areas under DEP’s stormwater management rules and to determine the buffer to apply to wetland areas.

Under the new rules, DEP will apply new temperature criteria to protect trout production streams. The adopted rules also establish more stringent criteria for dissolved oxygen, ammonia, and total suspended solids for all streams that receive upgraded protection based on their ability to support trout populations. These more stringent criteria apply to all dischargers who require a DEP surface water discharge permit and are located on an upgraded water body.

The new rules also establish upgraded criteria for mercury and PCBs, as well as a new monitoring requirement. Dischargers will now be required to use more sensitive analytical methods for monitoring mercury and PCBs, enabling DEP to better identify and track reductions in PCB and mercury levels.

The following is a list of the streams that will receive a C1 designation on October 16.

  • Beech Brook in West Milford
  • A section of the Saddle River in Upper Saddle River
  • Stone House Brook in Butler
  • A section of the Wanaque River in Pompton Lakes
  • Wanaque River Tributary in Hewitt

The Surface Water Quality Standards rules and a copy of the adoption document can be found at www.nj.gov/dep/rules/. The adoption will be published in the New Jersey Register on October 16, 2006.

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Last Updated: October 18, 2006