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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

July 22, 2011

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


(11/P87) TRENTON - New Jersey is continuing to closely monitor any potential impacts of two days of raw sewage discharges into the Hudson River caused by a disabled New York City wastewater treatment plant, even as New York officials say the plant will go back on line tonight.

New Jersey beaches and shellfish beds have not been affected by the sewage outflow, which is limited to the New York City portion of the river, and scientific modeling by DEP scientists shows there is no threat to the State's beaches or shellfish beds.

"New Jersey will continue to be vigilant to ensure public health and safety,'' said New Jersey DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. "New York is working aggressively to handle this problem, and we're pleased they are decreasing sewage discharges. But we'll continue to monitor for any impacts these discharges may have on New Jersey.''

Scientists from the New Jersey DEP will continue to take and analyze water samples from the Hudson River and to visually observe the waters for any effects of discharges from New York's North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, across the Hudson from Edgewater in Bergen County. So far, there has been no effluent or discharged materials observed floating on the water, no odors detected, and no visible plume from the sewage treatment plant.

The results of water sampling done on Thursday by the DEP's Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring found elevated levels of fecal coliform. Samples taken at six locations, from Liberty State Park to Englewood, ranged from 290 to 740 colony forming units or cfu/per 100 ml. Beaches are normally closed when levels exceed 200 cfu/per 100 ml. Sampling will continue on Saturday.

Recreational uses of the Hudson River, such as swimming, kayaking, fishing and crabbing, from Liberty State Park north through Bergen County, continue to be strongly discouraged due to public health and safety issues, said State Department of Health and Senior Services Acting Commissioner Dr. Tina Tan. The State will provide updates when normal fishing and crabbing may resume.

The DEP, along with the DHSS and the State Office of Emergency Management, will continue to reach out to officials in New Jersey towns and counties that border the Hudson River to update them on the situation.

New York City officials say two of the troubled plant's five pump engines came back online today and that wastewater is now being partially treated, while contractors continue to repair equipment, assess damage, and perform cleanup activities. New York officials also say the city will procure and install a backup pump system for the plant.

The New York City treatment plant was taken offline on Wednesday following a fire in the engine room. Untreated wastewater had been discharged directly into the Hudson River since 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

For information on this issue from the New York City DEP, visit:



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Last Updated: July 24, 2011