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Current Monitoring Projects


As part of the NJDEP effort to address the issues raised by the Federal Food Quality Protection Act, the New Jersey Food Monitoring and Evaluation Program (NJFMEP) was initiated to catalog the pesticide residue levels present on produce being sold and consumed in New Jersey. Since 2000, over 350 samples have been collected from roadside markets throughout the State. While the majority of the commodities collected were grown in NJ, the program does not ignore commodities that were grown in another state or country and sold to NJ consumers. The commodities examined include apples, asparagus, blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, cherries, Chinese vegetables, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, onions, peas, peaches, peppers, potatoes (white and sweet), spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet corn and tomatoes. Organic produce is also including in the program. Each sample collected is analyzed for over 100 different pesticide residues, including environmental contaminants such as DDT and dieldrin. As this program continues to expand, more commodities and sampling locations will be added to help further ensure the quality of the fresh produce in New Jersey.

Detailed reports and analytical results are available on the Publications page.


As part of the EPA's ground water protection initiative, a series of monitoring wells were installed (and continue to be installed) under the direction of PEMS (Pesticide Evaluation and Monitoring Section) since 1997. Wells were placed in areas showing higher agricultural pesticide use and are relatively shallow (20-50 feet in depth), reaching into subsurface aquifers. Wells are sampled on a routine schedule to obtain a data set of pesticide residue detections, the results directing the PCP to further investigation of problem pesticides and areas. Thirty-four wells are currently in place in central and south New Jersey. As of 2012, three of the thirty-four wells have shown consistent detections.

A detailed report of analytical results is available on the Publications page.


Samples collected in 2005 from groundwater monitoring wells and migrant farm camps in the Vineland area revealed significant levels of the herbicide DCPA. Several of the samples were found to be well above the Health Advisory Level (HAL) established for DCPA in drinking water. Over the course of 2006, samples were collected from additional migrant camps, groundwater wells and surface water sites in the vicinity of the original detections. While none of the samples and subsequent detections approached the levels found in 2005, PEMS expanded the scope of the monitoring to identify the extent of the contamination. In 2007, surface water sampling sites were identified in eleven townships reporting DCPA use. While there were some detections, none of them exceeded the HAL. Based on all of the data collected, it appears that the presence of DCPA is localized in the Vineland area and is the result of routine agricultural use. PEMS will continue to monitor this and other areas for DCPA and other compounds.


Since 2011, PEMS has been monitoring aquatic pesticide runoff from treated lakes in Central and North Jersey. For the past two years the focus has been fluridone; for 2013 the focus is diquat. Results of this investigation are forwarded to EPA to determine if any label changes need to take place concerning the pesticides in question and their undesirable impacts, if any, when leaving the treated area.


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Last Updated: October 27, 2014