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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6/18/03

Contact: Amy Cradic
(609) 984-1795

DEP Reaches Settlement with Local Water Supplier to Address Water Use Violations and
Promote Conservation:

Township to Replenish Excess Water Withdrawn from Aquifer

(03/88) TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the township of East Greenwich, Gloucester County, has agreed to replenish - over a three year period - the amount of excess water diverted from a local aquifer and to decrease its reliance on limited groundwater supplies by purchasing water from a private water company.

"East Greenwich relied on a depleted aquifer for its water supply and was consistently withdrawing more water than permitted due to the township's increased growth," said DEP Commissioner Campbell. "We are pleased that East Greenwich is paying back the excess water amounts used and is easing the long-term strain placed on the aquifer by tapping into a more plentiful water source to meet future needs."

East Greenwich is located in Water Supply Critical Area No. 2 as designated under the state's Water Supply Management Act. Critical Area designations are made where excessive water usage poses a significant threat to the long-term integrity of a water supply source.

Under its DEP-issued water supply allocation permit, East Greenwich can divert no more than 178 million gallons of water from its wells per year. In 2001, East Greenwich exceeded its annual water allocation limit by more than 79 million gallons, and in 2002 the township exceeded its annual limit by 61 million gallons.

As part of the settlement with the DEP, East Greenwich has agreed to decrease the annual, permitted amount of water it diverts from groundwater supplies by a total of 61 million gallons over a three-year period between 2003 and 2005 to make up for or replenish the amount of water withdrawn in excess of its permit limit in 2002. Any additional water needed by the township during this period and in the future must be purchased from New Jersey American Water Company. In addition, East Greenwich has agreed to pay the DEP $31,250 to settle a penalty assessed for its 2001 water allocation limit violation.

The New Jersey-American Water Company recently extended its Tri-County Pipeline in order to provide East Greenwich with any water needed above its permitted water diversion limit.

Critical Area No. 2 was established in 1993 under the Water Supply Management Act and includes portions of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Atlantic, Cumberland, Salem, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Since the area was designated, water allocations from the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system have been reduced on average of 22 percent within this region.

 

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