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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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Land Use Management
Water Monitoring and Standards

Notice of Rule Proposal
Surface Water Quality Standards N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.15, Amendments to Stream Classification and Antidegradation Designation

Public Notice
Take notice that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is proposing amendments of the Surface Water Quality Standards (SWQS), N.J.A.C. 7:9B. The SWQS govern the protection and enhancement of surface water quality and resources of the State of New Jersey. The rules include stream classifications (comprised of a use classification and an antidegradation designation), policies (including antidegradation policies), and water quality criteria for conventional and toxic pollutants applicable to all of the surface waters of the State. The SWQS are intended to aid the Department's implementation of the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) rules at N.J.A.C. 7:14A, Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7A, Flood Hazard Area Control Act at N.J.A.C. 7:13-4, Stormwater Management rules at N.J.A.C. 7:8, and Water Quality Management Planning rules at N.J.A.C. 7:15.

The Department is proposing amendments to the SWQS at N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.15, to upgrade the antidegradation designation for seven streams (Alexauken Creek, Harihokake Creek, Little Nishisakawick Creek, Locatong Creek, Nishisakawick Creek, Pohatcong Creek, and Wickecheoke Creek) including both named and unnamed tributaries based upon “exceptional ecological significance”. Significant drainage areas of the Manasquan River, Metedeconk River and natural drainage to the Oradell Reservoir are also being proposed for upgrade in antidegradation designation based upon “exceptional water supply significance”. In addition, the stream classification for two streams segments (Lopatcong Creek and Pohatcong Creek) will be upgraded to FW2-Trout Production (TP). Category One antidegradation designation would apply to the stream segments reclassified as FW2-TP. As a result of these upgrades, the total river miles designated as Category One will increase by approximately 500 river miles. The Department is also proposing to upgrade South Branch Rockaway Creek from FW2-TM(C1) to FW2-TP(C1) based on the trout production status. The South Branch Rockaway Creek was previously upgraded to a Category One antidegradation designation (see 35 N.J.R. 2264(b), May 19, 2003).

The proposal will be published in the New Jersey Register dated November 3, 2003. The proposal is posted on the web at

Public hearing concerning the proposal is scheduled on:

Monday, December 15, 2003, from 3 PM to 5 PM or close of testimony which ever occurs first and 6:30 PM to the close of testimony, at:

Department of Environmental Protection
401 East State Street
Public Hearing Room
First Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625

Comments should be submitted by January 2, 2004 to:

Gary Brower, Esq.
Attn. DEP Docket Number 23-03-10/412
NJDEP Office of Legal Affairs
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

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