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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2007

Contact: Darlene Yuhas (609) 984-1795
Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994

SPECIAL CLEAN WATER NEW JERSEY AWARDS TO HONOR
EXCELLENCE IN STORMWATER POLLUTION CONTROL

(07/39) TRENTON - Polluted runoff is a major threat to New Jersey’s water quality, and municipalities and other government agencies that have excelled in managing it are now eligible for special Clean Water New Jersey awards, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced today.

“New Jersey boasts the nation’s most rigorous rules for reducing pollution from stormwater runoff. Given the considerable challenge involved with implementing these requirements, I’m thrilled to announce this opportunity to recognize superior performance and innovation and to inspire others to achieve excellence,” Commissioner Jackson said.

Through the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Municipal Stormwater Regulation Program, mandated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the DEP regulates stormwater discharges into the state’s waterways from municipalities, counties, state, interstate and federal agencies and private entities. In all, 677 public agencies and more than 3,000 private entities are permitted under the stormwater program.

Commissioner Jackson will present Clean Water New Jersey awards to the municipal winners at the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City in November. Other public agencies, such as counties and universities, will be honored during a separate ceremony.

The awards program is the latest feature in the DEP’s comprehensive effort to protect New Jersey’s lakes, streams, rivers and ocean waters from contaminated stormwater runoff. Nearly 60 percent of New Jersey’s current water pollution is attributed to contaminated runoff.

In 2005, the DEP launched a multi-faceted, public-education campaign to help New Jerseyans understand the link between daily activities - such as car washing, lawn fertilizing and dog walking - and their impact on water quality. Featuring the slogan “Clean Water It’s Up to You New Jersey,” the campaign includes television, radio and print advertisements, posters, brochures, Web sites and public events.

Television spots are now running on cable stations throughout New Jersey.

During the inaugural phase of its campaign, the DEP provided free Clean Water posters to various agencies including most public libraries and public schools throughout the state. Additional posters are available to any organization that agrees to post them in a public location.

For details on the Clean Water Awards visit http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dwq/hot.htm. For information on stormwater and nonpoint pollution, as well as ways to prevent it, visit www.cleanwaternj.org

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Last Updated: August 16, 2007