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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9/23/02
02/84

Contact: Amy Cradic
(609) 984-1795

DEP Accelerates Plan to Curtail Flow of Pollution into New Jersey’s Waterways

(02/84) TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced an aggressive plan of action to reduce pollution in New Jersey’s 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 Jersey’s commitment to establish pollution limits or Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the state’s 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 Jersey’s 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 EPA’s 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.

Under 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 by states.

Establishing maximum pollution limits helps ensure that New Jersey’s lakes and rivers meet water quality standards. The state is also developing an implementation plan to reduce existing pollution sources. TMDL’s 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).

NOTE: A list of the waterbodies for which TMDLs will be established and a copy of DEP’s agreement with EPA are available upon request.

 

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