NRI — Ground Water
Ground water is both an environmentally sensitive
resource and a potential pathway to other natural resources such as
surface water and wetlands. Approximately 50 % of the State’s
8.5 million residents utilize ground water as a drinking water source.
It is also important for agricultural and industrial uses. The NJDEP
considers ground water to be injured when contaminants are above NJ
Ground Water Quality Standards.
Ground water injuries should be characterized during
the remedial investigation process. This process must delineate the
horizontal and vertical extent of contaminants in all media at the site
and determine the general surface and subsurface characteristics of
the site, and the depth of ground water (see N.J.A.C.
7:26E). Once characterization information is complete, it is used
in the ground water injury calculation to determine resource value.
The ground water injury calculation establishes the
relative magnitude of the restoration necessary to compensate for the
injury. Once this value is calculated, the Department enters into settlement
discussions with the responsible party to identify an appropriate restoration
The Department has a strong preference that the responsible
party implements a project to restore injured natural resources. For
ground water this is usually property acquisition to preserve aquifer
recharge. However, the responsible party has the option to provide monetary
damage damages (based on the result of the injury calculation) in lieu
of implementing a restoration project. The Department is obligated to
utilize these funds to implement appropriate restoration projects by
maintaining a nexus to the ground water injury. These damage monies
may be used to fund property acquisitions or other open space projects.
ONRR will often partner with the expertise of the Green
Acres Program to accomplish acquisition of open space occuring in
the same aquifer or watershed as the injury.
Ground Water Injury Calculation Data
Use the links below to get information on how to run
the ground water injury calculation: