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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

January 25, 2011

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994


(11/P11) TRENTON - With more snow expected to fall this week in New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection has advised cities, towns and counties that in the absence of adequate snow storage, the disposal of snow into the surface waters of the State is not a routinely acceptable management option.

However, Commissioner Bob Martin said the DEP will consider authorizing such action in emergency situations on a case-by-case basis during major snowstorms. Factors to be considered would include the size of the water body, presence of environmentally sensitive areas, flow of the waterway, amount of floating ice or snow this will cause, impact on downstream dams, and impact on channels being blocked.

Excess snow cannot be dumped in wetlands, small streams, waters that contain shellfish beds or drinking water reservoirs.

Commissioner Martin stressed that DEP approval is required for excess snow disposal, and noted that unapproved disposal into waterways is not permissible because there may be unknown contaminants in the snow that could pollute waterways.

"Protecting the State's rivers, bays and lakes, as part of our water supply, is a priority of Gov. Christie and the DEP,'' said Commissioner Martin. "Any town, city or county that wants to put mass amounts of snow in our waters must get DEP approval.''

Authorizations to place snow into surface waters can be requested through the DEP's Emergency Management Program or the New Jersey State Police Emergency Operation Center during an emergency activation. But they will be restricted to municipalities and counties just for the specific event. That option is not available to private businesses or residents.

All cities, towns and counties statewide have been notified by the DEP of this potential arrangement for emergency storm events.

To view the DEP's Snow Removal and Disposal Policy visit:



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Last Updated: January 25, 2011