DEP Reaches Settlement with Quarry Operator
for Water Pollution Violations
(03/80) TRENTON The New
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced
that 3M Company, owner of the Belle Mead Quarry in Somerset
County, has agreed to pay $99,120 for repeated stormwater
runoff violations impacting local stream quality.
"Stormwater runoff is one of the greatest
sources of water pollution in New Jersey and 3M Company's
poor site management repeatedly contributed to this larger
environmental problem," said DEP Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell. "We continue to work closely with 3M to
address site management deficiencies and prevent future
The 3M Company's Belle Mead Quarry is located
on County Road 601 in Montgomery and Hillsborough townships.
Between August 2000 and October 2002, the DEP issued 3M
Company 11 Notices of Violation for illegal stormwater discharges
from the quarry, for its failure to monitor and report discharges
as required by its permit at an authorized discharge outfall,
and for pollutant discharge exceedances at a permitted outfall.
Based on DEP investigations and reports
from the Montgomery Township Health Department, the department
determined that 3M Company's illegal stormwater discharges
impacted tributary waters located downstream of the quarry,
including Back Brook, Roaring Brook and Crusers Brook. While
the impact of the pollution discharges can not be quantified,
the contamination caused visible water turbidity in the
illegal runoff areas. A significant source of stormwater
runoff contamination is onsite mineral fines (industrial
residue) stockpiles associated with the facility's quarrying
and rock crushing operations.
In addition to the fine, DEP's settlement
agreement with 3M Company requires the facility to submit
quarterly progress reports to the department and to take
interim and permanent corrective actions to reduce the impact
of the quarry activities on stormwater that exits the site.
The corrective actions include:
- Constructing a new stormwater retention basin in the
- Properly cleaning and maintaining permanent and temporary
- Maintaining existing and installing additional silt
fencing and hay bales for stormwater runoff prevention;
- Conducting inspections of the basins, silt fencing and
hay bales after significant rain events and, at a minimum,
on a weekly basis;
- Minimizing stormwater runoff from the quarry floor via
traffic control restrictions, basin pumping or other best
management practices to be determined;
- Stabilizing the mineral fines stockpiles; and
- Inspecting roadways and associated ditches and culverts
on a bi-weekly basis.
Notices of Violation were issued for unpermitted
discharges on: August 2, 2000, June 28, 2001, August 8,
2001, March 7, 2002, June 11, 2002, and October 17, 2002.
A Notice of Violation was issued for 3M Company's failure
to monitor and report in compliance with their DEP-issued
permit on August 30, 2000. Notices of Violation were issued
for permit limitation violations on: August 20, 2000, April
18, 2001, December 5, 2001, and June 24, 2002.
The Montgomery Township Health Department
and the Sourland Regional Citizens' Planning Council assisted
the DEP in reporting the 3M Company's illegal stormwater
A copy of the DEP's settlement agreement
with the 3M Company is available upon request.
In an effort to reduce pollution levels
in New Jersey's water resources and address stormwater runoff
problems, DEP Commissioner Campbell has proposed new stormwater
regulations. The proposed regulations would update the state's
Stormwater Management Rules with an emphasis on new performance
standards for ground water recharge. The rules would require
maintaining 100 percent of the average annual groundwater
recharge statewide, a major initiative toward mitigating
against future droughts. In addition to the recharge standards,
the regulations also stress water quality controls. Statewide,
these rules require the implementation of Best Management
Practices (BMPs) for development in order to reduce pollution
runoff levels by 80 percent. These rules also provide the
special protections needed for the state's high quality
waters by requiring the protection of vegetated areas along
waterways designated as Category One (C1) water resources.