Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, March 2005

Nicole Simmons, 732-872-0111, Policy@cleanoceanaction.org

Help Put the Brakes on “Fast Track”

COA is hosting a Fast Track Citizens’ Meeting for residents and local officials in Atlantic and Cape May Counties.  Similar meetings organized by other members of the Save NJ Coalition will be held throughout the state.  Bring your friends and neighbors to learn how the damaging Fast Track law will affect your community and how to help repeal

the law.

Fast Track Citizens’ Meetings

  • Atlantic/Cape May County:
    - March 2, 7-9 PM, Bayside Center, 520 Bay Ave., Ocean City
  • Hudson County:
    - March 23, 7-9PM. NJ City University, Jersey City

As of press time, 51 NJ Legislators have signed on as co-sponsors of the Fast Track Repeal Bill (S2157/A3650), including 26 Democrats and 25 Republicans.

 

Twenty-five towns have signed Resolutions in Opposition to Fast Track.  If your town has not done so already, contact your mayor and advocate for repeal.

 

Visit www.savenj.net for a list of legislators on the repeal bill, an example of a letter to your legislator, a list of towns that have signed Resolutions in Opposition, and updates regarding upcoming citizens’ meetings.

 


US Congress Sends Letter Against Sewage Dumping Policy

An overwhelming 135 members of the US House of Representatives signed a bi-partisan letter urging USEPA not to implement a policy that would dump sewage into our nation’s lakes, rivers, and oceans during wet weather events.  The policy would let wastewater treatment plants re-route some sewage around secondary treatment and “blend” this untreated but filtered wastewater with fully treated wastewater before being discharged directly into a waterbody.  The letter, initiated by US Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-6), says the proposed guidance “would undo many of the public health and environmental gains achieved over the last 30 years under the Clean Water Act.” 


Restoration Project for Wreck Pond

Wreck Pond is a small coastal lake that is plagued with high bacteria levels.  Located between Spring Lake and Sea Girt, the pond is a major contributor to NJ’s ocean beach closures.  NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) Office of Coastal Engineering has recently applied to the NJDEP Office of Land Use for several permits related to the Wreck Pond Restoration Project.  These applications lack critical data necessary to determining the impact of the proposed project on the environment and should not have been submitted before they were complete. The first permit application is for the outfall extension, which proposes to extend the outfall pipe into the ocean by 300 feet.  NJDEP is still awaiting the completion of a study by Steven’s Institute of Technology (SIT) (expected late May) on the benefits and impacts of this proposal.  NJDEP Land Use staff are required to render a decision on the permit by March 3, even without the results of SIT’s impact study. A second application was submitted for dredging the eastern side of the pond with placement of 90,000 cubic yards of sand onto the beach.  The application is incomplete and NJDEP asked the applicant for additional information. In addition to the aforementioned permit applications, a Regional Storm Water Management Plan (RSWMP) was to be approved and implemented prior to the commencement of any of these or other restoration measures.  The RSWMP is under development, but far from completion. While the ultimate permit decisions will be made by NJDEP Land Use staff, NJDEP’s Office of Coastal Engineering should provide the governing bodies, citizens groups, and residents of the affected towns with all permit application data and information to satisfy their concerns and to allow them to submit informed comments to the NJDEP about the project.  COA will request to NJDEP that the application process be halted until all the data are available.


Discharge Permit Renewal: Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant

Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (OCNGS) will be required to comply with new USEPA Phase II regulations upon the renewal of its NJ Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) permit, which expired in 1999.  Phase II Regulations mandate that Oyster Creek upgrade its system to meet specific performance standards to “minimize adverse environmental impacts.” COA continues to investigate Oyster Creek’s Once-Through Cooling System and its impacts on the surrounding marine environment.  COA obtained information that showed 32 endangered sea turtles have been impinged (trapped) on the intake screens since 1992, resulting in 13 mortalities.  Impingement of sea turtles reached an all time high in 2004 when OCNGS exceeded their National Marine Fisheries Services authorized annual incidental take limit, impinging 8 and killing 3 juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles (a rare species of sea turtles) in a three-month period.  In addition, a two-year study in the mid 1980s reported impingement of 22 million fish and invertebrates. Entrainment is when animals are sucked into the plant and subjected to numerous and potentially lethal impacts.  Over a two-year period, over 90 trillion microzooplankton (e.g., copepods and young clams, snails, worms, and barnacle larvae) and 400 billion macrozooplankton (e.g., jellyfish, sand shrimp, grass shrimp, larvae of sandlance and American eels, eggs and larvae of winter flounder, and several crab species) were impacted. On February 10, COA submitted a Position Paper to NJ Assembly’s Environment and Solid Waste Committee documenting the numerous and significant adverse effects of OCNGS operations on the marine environment. The draft NJPDES permit is expected soon and COA will utilize the public comment period to inform NJDEP of the numerous negative impacts of the cooling system.  COA also continues to develop Phase II compliance alternatives that are best for the Jersey shore.

Headquarters:

49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041


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