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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 10/30/00
/00
CONTACT: Loretta O'Donnell or Amy Collings
609-984-1795 or 609-292-2994

DEP & NORTH JERSEY WATER SUPPLY COMMISSION SIGN CONTRACT TO PROTECT PASSAIC RIVER BASIN WATER QUALITY

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn today signed a contract with the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission to develop a comprehensive management plan for clean and plentiful water for the Passaic River Basin.

The commission will receive $1.15 million for the two-year contract and a total of $1.75 million to complete the watershed plan. The Passaic River Basin covers 935 square miles in parts of seven counties - Passaic, Morris, Essex, Bergen, Somerset and Union - and 137 municipalities.

"With DEP, the commission, partner organizations and the public working together, we will produce a plan that will protect and enhance the waterways in the Passaic River Basin from its headwaters in Morris and Passaic to Newark Bay," Shinn said.

The Passaic River Basin is divided into three watershed management areas - Area 3 comprising the Pequannock, Pompton, Ramapo and Wanaque rivers; Area 4 - the Lower Passaic and Saddle rivers and Area 6 - the Whippany, Rockaway, Mid and Upper Passaic rivers.

Commissioner Shinn signed the contract with Chairman Robert Coyle at the commission's Wanaque headquarters. Representatives from several organizations that will help develop the plan attended including: the Passaic River Coalition, the Passaic River Basin Alliance, Passaic Valley Water Commission, Palisades Interstate Park Commission and the Area 6 Steering Committee.

A partnership committee will be organized consisting of local agencies, watershed associations, municipalities, citizens and established regional groups from business, industry and environmental interests. Task committees will be formed for public outreach and other technical and support work. Upon completion of a draft plan, DEP will seek formal public comment and review prior to adoption.

For more information, contact the Division of Watershed Management's Northeast Bureau at (609) 633-1179.

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