Current Monitoring Projects
NEW JERSEY FOOD MONITORING AND EVALUATION PROGRAM
As part of the NJDEP effort to address the issues raised by the
Federal Food Quality Protection Act, the New Jersey Food Monitoring
and Evaluation Program (NJFMEP) was initiated to catalog the pesticide
residue levels present on produce being sold and consumed in New
Jersey. Since 2000, over 350 samples have been collected from
roadside markets throughout the State. While the majority of the
commodities collected were grown in NJ, the program does not ignore
commodities that were grown in another state or country and sold
to NJ consumers. The commodities examined include apples, asparagus,
blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, cherries, Chinese vegetables,
cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, onions, peas, peaches, peppers,
potatoes (white and sweet), spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet
corn and tomatoes. Organic produce is also including in the program.
Each sample collected is analyzed for over 100 different pesticide
residues, including environmental contaminants such as DDT and
dieldrin. As this program continues to expand, more commodities
and sampling locations will be added to help further ensure the
quality of the fresh produce in New Jersey.
Detailed reports and analytical results are
available on the Publications page.
GROUND WATER MONITORING NETWORK
As part of the EPA's ground water protection
initiative, a series of monitoring wells were installed (and
continue to be installed) under the direction of PEMS since
1997. Wells were placed in areas showing higher agricultural
pesticide use and are relatively shallow (20-50 feet in depth),
reaching into subsurface aquifers. Wells are sampled on a routine
schedule to obtain a data set of pesticide residue detections,
the results directing the PCP to further investigation of problem
pesticides and areas. Thirty-four wells are currently in place
in central and south New Jersey. As of 2012, three of the thirty-four
wells have shown consistent detections.
A detailed report of analytical results is available
on the Publications page.
DCPA (DACTHAL) INVESTIGATION IN SOUTHERN NJ
Samples collected in 2005 from groundwater monitoring
wells and migrant farm camps in the Vineland area revealed significant
levels of the herbicide DCPA. Several of the samples were found
to be well above the Health Advisory Level (HAL) established
for DCPA in drinking water. Over the course of 2006, samples
were collected from additional migrant camps, groundwater wells
and surface water sites in the vicinity of the original detections.
While none of the samples and subsequent detections approached
the levels found in 2005, PEMS expanded the scope of the monitoring
to identify the extent of the contamination. In 2007, surface
water sampling sites were identified in eleven townships reporting
DCPA use. While there were some detections, none of them exceeded
the HAL. Based on all of the data collected, it appears that
the presence of DCPA is localized in the Vineland area and is
the result of routine agricultural use. PEMS will continue to
monitor this and other areas for DCPA and other compounds.
AQUATIC PESTICIDE INVESTIGATION
Since 2011, PEMS has been monitoring aquatic pesticide runoff from treated lakes in Central and North Jersey. For the past two years the focus has been fluridone; for 2013 the focus is diquat. Results of this investigation are forwarded to EPA to determine if any label changes need to take place concerning the pesticides in question and their undesirable impacts, if any, when leaving the treated area.