NJ DEP ATTAINS SETTLEMENT
OVER WATER POLLUTION
VIOLATIONS AFFECTING PAULINSKILL RIVER
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
today announced that Kere Associates, owner and operator
of the Big "N" Shopping Center Sewage Treatment
Plant, Sussex County, was fined $121,500 for discharging
pollutants into a tributary of the Paulinskill River.
"The substantial penalty we issued
to Kere Associates should reinforce to other potential violators
that we will protect the state's water quality," said
DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "While Kere Associates
cooperated and made the appropriate improvements to its
facility, we can not overlook past environmental violations
and their impact."
Commonly known as the Sussex County Mall,
the Big "N" Shopping Center's sewage treatment
facility exceeded effluent limits for chlorine-produced
oxidants, fecal coliform, phosphorous, oil and grease, and
suspended solids. These pollutants can have potential toxic
impacts on aquatic life, may result in harmful bacteria,
cause excessive aquatic plant growth, affect water turbidity,
and interfere with the plant's disinfection process. The
water pollution violations occurred between 1996 and 1998.
Located a few miles downstream from the
sewage treatment plant situated in Hampton Township, Paulinskill
Lake is a public recreational resource used for boating,
fishing and swimming. The DEP also operates a Wildlife Management
Area along a portion of the lakeshore.
DEP, pursuant to the County Environmental
Health Act, requested that Sussex County officials sample
the discharge from Kere Associate's sewage treatment plant,
and the results of the investigation were used to determine
the violations cited.
The DEP issued Notices of Violation to
Kere Associates on August 8, 1996 and April 17, 1998. An
Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative
Penalty of $192,000 was issued on June 25, 1999. The penalty
was settled through the execution of an agreement between
DEP and Kere Associates on April 10, 2002, with Kere Associates
agreeing to pay a penalty settlement of $121,500.
As of November 1998, Kere Associates
completed extensive modifications and improvements to its
sewage treatment plant, including the installation of an
equalization tank with an aeration system, and the replacement
of the chlorinator with an ultraviolet disinfection unit.
The plant has been in compliance with its effluent limits
since improvements were made.