MCGREEVEY TAKES ACTION
TO CONTROL SPRAWL
AND PROTECT STATE’S WATER RESOURCES
Announces Greater Protection of Metedeconk River and Lifts
(BRICK TOWNSHIP) – Ending New Jersey’s
ten-month drought emergency, Governor McGreevey today reaffirmed
his commitment to protect New Jersey’s waterways
and drinking water supplies and announced plans to increase
protection of the Metedeconk River, a key drinking water
supply in the State’s shore region.
“Today I am lifting New Jersey’s statewide
drought emergency, but while the short-term crisis is over,
the long-term threat still remains,” said Governor
McGreevey. “I am asking all New Jerseyans to join
me in the battle to protect our waterways, to end crisis-to-crisis
management of our most precious resource, and to stop the
overdevelopment and sprawl that threaten to destroy both
our water supplies and our quality of life.”
Joined by Senator Andrew Ciesla,
Brick Township Mayor Joseph Scarpelli, Environmental
Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell and other local and environmental leaders, Governor
McGreevey announced that the Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) will work with mayors from the communities
within the Metedeconk watershed to identify sections of
the river for Category One (C1) designation – the
highest level of water quality protection. C1 designation
protects waterways from any discharge that produces a measurable
change in the existing quality of the water.
“I applaud Governor McGreevey and Commissioner Campbell
for their efforts to protect our state’s watersheds
and their vital ecosystems,” said Mayor Scarpelli. “Since
it serves as the source of 75% of our drinking water, I
am extremely pleased that the Metedeconk River will gain
“The Metedeconk River, a vital drinking water source
for many families, will be the 23 rd body of water that
my administration proposes for increased protection,” said
McGreevey, “but we are only beginning our battle
to protect New Jersey’s air, water and quality of
life against sprawl.”
“By stopping sprawl on the Metedeconk River, we
protect a major drinking water supply for future generations.
This is just the latest demonstration of the Governor’s
commitment to smart growth – and we know there is
more to come,” said Amy Goldsmith, State Director
of New Jersey Environmental Federation.
"Under the Governor's direction, the DEP is setting
tougher standards to protect New Jersey' s waterways -
particularly those that provide our families with drinking
water," said DEP Commissioner Campbell. “The
Metedeconk River represents an exceptional water supply
and will be critical to meeting the area’s water
supply demands in the future.”
The Metedeconk River serves as a drinking water source
for more than 100,000 residents and will serve significantly
more people in the coming years. In addition to meeting
current water supply needs, the Metedeconk River will support
a new billion-gallon reservoir to meet anticipated future
water demands in Brick Township and surrounding communities.
The completion of the reservoir is scheduled for early
The specific boundaries of the C1 designation will be
achieved by determining how best to ensure a safe and plentiful
drinking water source and allow for smart growth within
the affected towns.
Last March, the Governor declared New Jersey to be in
a statewide drought emergency as the state ended the driest
six-month period since 1895. Over the last ten months,
New Jersey continued to experience some of the most erratic
precipitation patterns in history with groundwater levels
reaching record lows.
The recent, abnormally high rainfall
has replenished New Jersey’s surface waters and increased groundwater
levels. However, groundwater levels in the sourthern part
of the state remain below normal. Approximately half of
New Jersey’s drinking water comes from groundwater.
New Jersey coastal south and southwest drought regions
will be placed under a drought warning and DEP will maintain
the authority to manage water resources in the interest
of the public.
For more information on New Jersey’s
current reservoir and groundwater levels, please visit
the DEP drought website
at www.njdrought.org. The updated administrative order regarding the end of the drought emergency is available online.