New Jersey DELIVERS ON EARTH DAY COMMITMENT
TO PROTECT WATER RESOURCES
New Regulations to Protect Key Drinking Water Sources
and Ecologically Important Waterways
(HOWELL) Today the McGreevey Administration reaffirmed its Earth Day pledge to safeguard New Jerseys critical drinking water sources and critical habitats for threatened and endangered species by announcing new regulations to upgrade 15 waterbodies to the highest level - Category One (C1) - of protection.
"Today, we make a commitment to our families and future generations to safeguard New Jerseys precious and limited water resources," McGreevey said. "These new regulations represent the States first significant attempt to protect waters and endangered species through safeguarding New Jerseys existing high-quality drinking waters supplies."
Category One (C1) designation protects waterways from any discharge that produces a measurable change in the existing quality of the water. While the States previous C1 designations were primarily extended to trout production streams, the regulations announced today extend those protections to nine reservoirs and six streams.
At a news conference Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell acknowledged the progress New Jersey and the Nation have made since the Clean Water Act was signed thirty years ago on October 18, 1972. Standing along the edge of the Manasquan Reservoir, which is proposed for the C1 designation, Commissioner Campbell called for continued vigilance to protect waterways as more residents and businesses rely on limited supplies of water in the decades ahead.
"It is only fitting, that at a time when we recognize previous generations contributions to clean water protection, we renew New Jerseys commitment to protecting our valuable natural resources," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "At a time when the federal government is attempting to roll back clean water protections, New Jersey is once again, at Governor McGreeveys direction, establishing itself as an environmental leader."
"We must recognize that our waterways will not continuously supply us high quality drinking water or support sensitive and endangered species unless we take action now to ensure they are provided the highest level of protection we can offer." said McGreevey.
The nine reservoirs protected today serve almost four million citizens nearly half New Jerseys population. Manasquan Reservoir alone serves over 150,000 people. With New Jerseys population expected to grow by almost one million people in the next 20 years, the need for safe, plentiful water from these reservoirs will be even more critical.
In addition to safeguarding important supplies of drinking water, the protections announced today also will help preserve water quality for streams and waterways serving as critical habitat for many of New Jerseys threatened and endangered species.
As Governor McGreevey promised in his Earth Day announcement, the waterbodies announced today are only the first round of proposals for protecting New Jerseys "high quality waters." Over the next several months, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will identify another round of waterbodies for C1 protections and develop comprehensive standards for State waters that should receive this special designation. DEP Commissioner Campbell will also continue developing a broad range of initiatives promoting the Governors policies for a clean water future.
"New Jersey is fortunate to have a Governor with the foresight, dedication and commitment to preserve our critical water resources and ecologically significant waterways," said Campbell. "Under the Governors leadership, DEP is committed to strengthening protections of our critical resources and integrating these protections into smart growth initiatives."
The regulations announced today will be published in the November 18, 2002 New Jersey Register. Final rules will be signed only after a sixty-day public comment period affording the public the opportunity to provide input on these protections.
The nine reservoirs receiving protection under the proposed regulations include Doughty Reservoir (Atlantic City); Glendola Reservoir (Glendola); Manasquan Reservoir (Oak Glen); Boonton Reservoir (Boonton); Charlottesburg Reservoir (Charlottesburg); Oradell Reservoir (Oradell); Wanaque Reservoir (Passaic County); Round Valley Reservoir (Clinton); and Swimming River Reservoir (Red Bank).
The six streams receiving protection under the proposed regulations include a portion of Assiscunk Creek (Columbus); two portions of the Pequest River (Townsbury); Flat Brook (Flatbrook-Roy Wildlife Management Area); a portion of Beaver Brook (Annandale); South Branch Rockaway Creek (Clinton); and Sidney Brook (Grandin).
WATERBODIES UPGRADED TO C1 CLASSIFICATION
Round Valley Reservoir Clinton Township, Hunterdon County
Round Valley is managed by the New Jersey Water Supply Authority and provides drinking water for residents of central New Jersey.
Doughty Reservoir Egg Harbor, Galloway, Absecon, Atlantic County
Doughty Reservoir is managed by the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority and provides drinking water for residents of Atlantic City.
Oradell Reservoir Harrington Park, Closter, Haworth, Oradell, Bergen County
Oradell Reservoir is managed by United Water Resources and provides drinking water for residents of northeast New Jersey, including Bergen and Hudson counties.
Charlottesburg Reservoir Rockaway, Morris County
Charlottesburg Reservoir is managed by the Newark City Water Department and provides drinking water for residents of northeast New Jersey, including Morris, Union, Passaic, and Essex counties.
Boonton Reservoir Boonton Township, Morris County
Boonton Reservoir is managed by the Jersey City Water Department and provides drinking water for residents of northeast New Jersey, including Essex, Passaic, and Hudson counties.
Swimming River Reservoir Colts Neck, Red Bank, Monmouth County
Swimming River Reservoir is managed by North Jersey American Water Company and provides drinking water for residents of Monmouth County.
Glendola Reservoir Wall, Glendola, Monmouth County
Glendola Reservoir is managed by New Jersey American, Monmouth Division and provides drinking water for residents of southeast New Jersey.
Manasquan Reservoir Howell, Oak Glen, Monmouth County
Manasquan Reservoir is managed by the New Jersey Water Supply Authority and provides drinking water for residents of Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Wanaque Reservoir Ringwood, Wanaque, Passaic County
Wanaque Reservoir is managed by the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission and provides drinking water for residents of northeast New Jersey, including Essex, Passaic, and Hudson counties.
South Branch Rockaway Creek Clinton, Lebanon, Readington, Hunterdon County
South Branch Rockaway Creek is located in Hunterdon County in the Raritan Watershed. The headwaters of the creek are in Clinton Township, while the creek flows in an eastward direction through Lebanon Borough and Readington Township meeting the North Branch of the Rockaway River just north of Route 22. The portion upgraded to C1 classification includes the headwaters to Lake Cushetunk, including all tributaries.
Sidney Brook Clinton, Union, Franklin, Hunterdon County
Sidney Brook is located in Hunterdon County in the Raritan Watershed. A headwater stream with high water quality, the brook flows through portions of Clinton, Union and Franklin townships. The portion upgraded to C1 classification includes the headwaters to the brooks confluence with South Branch Raritan River, including all tributaries.
Flat Brook Walpack, Sussex County
Nestled within the rural landscape of western Sussex County, the Flat Brook watershed is one of the most expansive, ecologically intact, high water quality stream systems in the state. The portion upgraded to C1 classification flows from the Flatbrook-Roy Wildlife Management Area boundary to the Delaware River.
Pequest River Liberty, Mansfield, Warren County
Pequest River and Beaver Run are high quality watersheds that feature an excellent example of calcareous wetlands and important wildlife habitat. The two portions upgraded to C1 classification include the segment from the Lehigh and Hudson River railway bridge to the northern boundary of the Pequest Wildlife Management Area and the segment from the upstream boundary of the Pequest Wildlife Management Area to the downstream boundary.
Assiscunk Creek Springfield, Mansfield, Burlington County
Surrounded by farmland and bordered by a rich floodplain of oak and maple-forested swamp, vernal pools, and marshes, the Assiscunk Creek has high water quality and contains important wildlife habitat. The portion upgraded to C1 classification includes the headwaters to the confluence with Barkers Brook, including all tributaries.
Beaver Brook Clinton, Hunterdon County
Beaver Brook is located in Annandale in the Raritan River watershed. The portion upgraded to C1 classification includes the Beaver Avenue bridge downstream to the lowermost I-78 bridge.