Stronger State Protections for Local Waterways

April 6th, 2020

Photo Credit: Ryan Pisauro

Jacob’s Creek in Hopewell Township and Rock Brook in Montgomery Township were officially designated as Category One streams with Monday’s publication of the rules in the New Jersey Register.

More than a decade in the making, this designation by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection recognizes these waterways’ exceptional ecological value and provides additional protections to maintain and improve water quality.

Last spring, NJDEP proposed upgraded protections to 749 miles of waterways in the state. About 600 miles of waterways were protected in Monday’s move.

Photo Credit: Ryan Pisauro

As a result, any wastewater or other regulated discharges that impact these waterways will need to meet stringent water quality standards. The designations also prohibit most new development within 300 feet of the streams under the Flood Hazard Area Control Act, better protecting water quality as well as lives and property.

Mike Pisauro, Policy Director at The Watershed Institute, applauded this decision.

“This action by NJDEP couldn’t come at a more critical time when federal protections for the environment are being dismantled,” he said. “We commend NJDEP for taking the right moves to enforce the state’s stronger protections of vital waterways.”

Watch a brief video of Watershed Policy Director Mike Pisauro and Hopewell Township Mayor Kristin McLaughlin celebrating the new designation for Jacobs Creek.

Another video has Watershed Education Director Jeff Hoagland at Rock Brook.

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