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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7/30/02
02/61

Contact: Amy Cradic
(609) 984-1795

NJ DEP ATTAINS SETTLEMENT OVER WATER POLLUTION
VIOLATIONS AFFECTING PAULINSKILL RIVER

(02/61) Trenton---The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that Kere Associates, owner and operator of the Big "N" Shopping Center Sewage Treatment Plant, Sussex County, was fined $121,500 for discharging pollutants into a tributary of the Paulinskill River.

"The substantial penalty we issued to Kere Associates should reinforce to other potential violators that we will protect the state's water quality," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "While Kere Associates cooperated and made the appropriate improvements to its facility, we can not overlook past environmental violations and their impact."

Commonly known as the Sussex County Mall, the Big "N" Shopping Center's sewage treatment facility exceeded effluent limits for chlorine-produced oxidants, fecal coliform, phosphorous, oil and grease, and suspended solids. These pollutants can have potential toxic impacts on aquatic life, may result in harmful bacteria, cause excessive aquatic plant growth, affect water turbidity, and interfere with the plant's disinfection process. The water pollution violations occurred between 1996 and 1998.

Located a few miles downstream from the sewage treatment plant situated in Hampton Township, Paulinskill Lake is a public recreational resource used for boating, fishing and swimming. The DEP also operates a Wildlife Management Area along a portion of the lakeshore.

DEP, pursuant to the County Environmental Health Act, requested that Sussex County officials sample the discharge from Kere Associate's sewage treatment plant, and the results of the investigation were used to determine the violations cited.

The DEP issued Notices of Violation to Kere Associates on August 8, 1996 and April 17, 1998. An Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty of $192,000 was issued on June 25, 1999. The penalty was settled through the execution of an agreement between DEP and Kere Associates on April 10, 2002, with Kere Associates agreeing to pay a penalty settlement of $121,500.

As of November 1998, Kere Associates completed extensive modifications and improvements to its sewage treatment plant, including the installation of an equalization tank with an aeration system, and the replacement of the chlorinator with an ultraviolet disinfection unit. The plant has been in compliance with its effluent limits since improvements were made.

 

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