DEP Accelerates Plan to
Curtail Flow of Pollution into New Jerseys Waterways
TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protections (DEP) Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell today announced an aggressive plan of action to reduce pollution
in New Jerseys lakes and rivers with impaired water quality by curbing existing
pollution sources and setting stricter limits on the amount of pollution going
into waterways across the state.
DEP and EPA have signed
a memorandum of agreement that formalizes New Jerseys commitment to establish
pollution limits or Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the states impaired
waterbodies. To date, only eight TMDLs have been established by the state over
the past three years. Under the new agreement, the DEP will establish 159 TMDLs
by July 31, 2003.
Our agreement with EPA strengthens
New Jerseys position as a leader among states complying with the Clean Water
Act and benefiting from its environmental safeguards, said Commissioner
Campbell. I am grateful to EPAs Regional Administrator Jane Kenny
and her Deputy Bill Muszynski for working effectively with the department to bring
about this agreement.
As per the agreement, EPA will
provide DEP programmatic and legal guidance, financial support via grants and
contracts, and technical assistance with the TMDL program implementation.
the 1972 federal Clean Water Act, states must develop lists of waterways that
do not meet minimum federal water quality standards. In addition, states must
establish TMDLs for these impaired waterbodies, which specify the maximum amount
of a pollutant that the impaired lake or river can receive and still meet water
quality standards. A TMDL allocates pollutants among existing point and nonpoint
sources and takes into consideration future growth, so that the total pollutant
amount will not exceed the overall maximum limit set for each waterbody. By law,
EPA must approve or disapprove impaired waterbody lists and TMDLs established
Establishing maximum pollution limits helps ensure
that New Jerseys lakes and rivers meet water quality standards. The state
is also developing an implementation plan to reduce existing pollution sources.
TMDLs are set for such pollutants as fecal coliform, PCBs, mercury, nickel,
vinyl chloride, sediment and phosphorous, as well as targeted pollutants of concern
for specific waterbodies.
The eight TMDLs currently established
by New Jersey include: two segments of the Whippany River for fecal coliform;
Strawbridge Lake for phosphorus; Sylvan Lake for phosphorus; two segments of the
Hackensack for nickel; and two segments in the Delaware Estuary for volatile organic
compounds, including 1,2 dichloroethane and trichloroethene (TCE).
A list of the waterbodies for which TMDLs will be established and a copy of DEPs
agreement with EPA are available upon request.