MUNICIPAL WATER DEPARTMENT
FAILS TO TEST PUBLIC DRINKING WATER FOR LEAD AND COPPER
FILES COMPLAINT IN STATE SUPERIOR COURT
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell today announced that a complaint was filed in the Superior Court of
New Jersey against the Borough of Fieldsboro, Burlington County, for its continued
failure to test public drinking water for lead and copper as required under the
federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The violations occurred from July 1, 1994 through
June 30, 2002.
Filing the complaint on behalf of the DEP,
the state Attorney General's Office is asking the court to require Fieldsboro
to immediately comply with requisite sampling and public notifications, prohibiting
any further violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
is more important than protecting the safety of our drinking water," said
Commissioner Campbell. "Despite the department's repeated efforts to bring
Fieldsboro into compliance with safe drinking water standards, they remain delinquent
in their monitoring duties and further legal action was necessary. Fieldsboro's
ongoing neglect in adhering to these safety regulations will not be tolerated."
Borough of Fieldsboro Water Department owns and operates a community water system
that supplies water to more than 600 residents. The water is delivered to Fieldsboro
through a 10-inch interconnection with the Bordentown Water Department.
has consistently failed to obtain required drinking water samples from residential
taps to test for lead and copper. Fieldsboro was required to conduct the initial
tests during two six-month monitoring periods, from July 1, 1993 to December 31,
1993 and January 1, 1994 to June 30, 1994. As a result of Fieldsboro's continued
failure to sample, the DEP issued six Notices of Violation and several certified
letters over an approximately nine-year period to inform Fieldsboro of its federal
On June 21, 1996, the DEP issued
an Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment
to the Borough of Fieldsboro that included a $5,000 penalty. The DEP and Fieldsboro
entered into an Administrative Consent Order on January 21, 1998, settling violations
through the June 30, 1994 monitoring period. As part of the order, Fieldsboro
agreed to pay a $3,000 penalty as well as provide residents quarterly public notifications
as long as violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act continued to occur. Despite
ongoing violations, Fieldsboro failed to provide public notifications during the
fourth quarter in 2001.
In addition to requiring Fieldsboro
to immediately comply with requisite sampling and public notifications, the DEP
is seeking penalties in the amount of $122,000 for the ongoing violations of the
Safe Drinking Water Act.