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DEP Proposes New Pollution Limits to Improve Water Quality
Recreation - News Center
Affects Wanaque Reservoir and Over 400 River Miles Across State

July 27, 2005 (rt23 news) - TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today proposed new pollution limits, targeting phosphorus that causes water quality impairment of 200 river miles within the Passaic River Basin and the Wanaque Reservoir, as well as an additional 200 river miles in 20 waterways across the state.

"Improving the water quality of our most significant and largest drinking sources is fundamental to protecting the health of New Jersey’s residents," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "Safeguarding our water resources also is key to supporting New Jersey’s growing communities and economy."

"DEP is once again building on its clean water commitment and record," said Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "For critical drinking water sources like the Wanaque and others, we will continue to work at an accelerated pace to make up for past delays in setting tougher pollution limits."

For the Passaic River Basin, DEP has proposed total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) - or pollution limits - to address phosphorus contamination entering the Wanaque Reservoir and over 200 river miles. Affected rivers within the Passaic River Basin include Pompton River, Ramapo River, Pequannock River, Wanaque River, Upper & Middle Passaic River, Whippany River, and Rockaway River.

The proposal specifically calls for a reduction of phosphorus - from 57,574 pounds to 17,496 pounds per year - going into the Wanaque Reservoir, which lies within the Passaic River Basin. The TMDL proposal requires 42 wastewater treatment plants within the Passaic River Basin to reduce phosphorus discharges by 83 percent, and establishes an 80 percent phosphorus reduction target for nonpoint source pollution. One measure to address nonpoint source pollution is a requirement for all municipalities impacting the Wanaque Reservoir to adopt a low phosphorus fertilizer ordinance.

DEP also proposed TMDLs for 20 additional waterways encompassing 200 river miles across 10 watershed areas. These 20 TMDLs call for phosphorus reductions ranging from 21 to 92 percent (see below Phase I WLAs Table).

In developing these TMDLs, DEP identifies the maximum amount of phosphorus that a water body can contain and still meet New Jersey’s water quality standards.

DEP then allocates the targeted reduction amongst existing pollution sources to restore the waterways to the state’s "clean water" standard.

The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) established section 303(d) that requires states to prepare and submit a report that identifies waters that do not meet water quality standards. The waterbodies on the 303(d) list have impaired water quality and the state is required to develop a TMDL for each pollutant in these waterbodies by priority.

DEP published the 21 proposed TMDLs for phosphorus (listed below) in the July 5 New Jersey Register (NJR). DEP will hold hearings beginning on August 4 to accept public comments, please visit the web site for date and location for each TMDL.

See letter to dischargers [PDF 35 Kb] and phase I waste load allocation (WLA) table [PDF 85 Kb] (includes reduction amounts)

For more information about New Jersey’s watersheds visit

New Jersey’s Proposed TMDLs in July 5 New Jersey Register
WaterbodyTMDL TypeCity/County
Barrett RunPhosphorus Bridgeton
Blacks CreekPhosphorusChesterfield-Georgetown Road
Black CreekPhosphorusRoute 94/517 in Vernon
Black CreekPhosphorusBlack Creek near Vernon
Black CreekPhosphorusSand Hill Road in Vernon
Big Timber CreekPhosphorusBlackwood Terrace
Cohansey RiverPhosphorusSeeley
Coles BrookPhosphorusHackensack
Lockatong CreekPhosphorusRosemont-Raven Rock Road Bridge
Metedeconk RiverPhosphorusJackson Mills road in Freehold
Musquapsink BrookPhosphorusRiver Vale
Oldmans CreekPhosphorusPorches Mill
Pascack BrookPhosphorusWestwood
Pompton LakePhosphorusPassaic County
Ramapo RiverPhosphorus(near) Mahwah
Shark RiverPhosphorus (near)Neptune
Shark River BrookPhosphorusShark River Station in Tinton Falls
Wanaque ReservoirPhosphorusPassaic County
Wickecheoke CreekPhosphorus(near) Sergentsville
Wickecheoke CreekPhosphorusStockton
WaywayandaPhosphorusRoute 515 in Maple Grange Pochuck River

Posted by: Staff at
July 27, 2005

DEP Proposes New Pollution Limits to Improve Water Quality

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