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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8/20/02
02/74

Contact: Amy Cradic
609-984-1795

MUNICIPAL WATER DEPARTMENT FAILS TO TEST PUBLIC DRINKING WATER FOR LEAD AND COPPER

DEP FILES COMPLAINT IN STATE SUPERIOR COURT

(02/74) TRENTON - 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.

"Nothing 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."

The 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.

Fieldsboro 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 monitoring violations.

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.

 

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