NJ DEPARTMENT of ENVIRONMENTAL
Land Use Management
Water Monitoring and Standards
Notice of Rule Proposal
Surface Water Quality Standards N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.15, Amendments
to Stream Classification and Antidegradation Designation
Take notice that the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection (Department) is proposing amendments of the Surface
Water Quality Standards (SWQS), N.J.A.C. 7:9B. The SWQS govern
the protection and enhancement of surface water quality and
resources of the State of New Jersey. The rules include stream
classifications (comprised of a use classification and an antidegradation
designation), policies (including antidegradation policies),
and water quality criteria for conventional and toxic pollutants
applicable to all of the surface waters of the State. The SWQS
are intended to aid the Department's implementation of the New
Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) rules
at N.J.A.C. 7:14A, Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules
at N.J.A.C. 7:7A, Flood Hazard Area Control Act at N.J.A.C.
7:13-4, Stormwater Management rules at N.J.A.C. 7:8, and Water
Quality Management Planning rules at N.J.A.C. 7:15.
The Department is proposing amendments to the SWQS at N.J.A.C.
7:9B-1.15, to upgrade the antidegradation designation for seven
streams (Alexauken Creek, Harihokake Creek, Little Nishisakawick
Creek, Locatong Creek, Nishisakawick Creek, Pohatcong Creek,
and Wickecheoke Creek) including both named and unnamed tributaries
based upon “exceptional ecological significance”.
Significant drainage areas of the Manasquan River, Metedeconk
River and natural drainage to the Oradell Reservoir are also
being proposed for upgrade in antidegradation designation based
upon “exceptional water supply significance”. In
addition, the stream classification for two streams segments
(Lopatcong Creek and Pohatcong Creek) will be upgraded to FW2-Trout
Production (TP). Category One antidegradation designation would
apply to the stream segments reclassified as FW2-TP. As a result
of these upgrades, the total river miles designated as Category
One will increase by approximately 500 river miles. The Department
is also proposing to upgrade South Branch Rockaway Creek from
FW2-TM(C1) to FW2-TP(C1) based on the trout production status.
The South Branch Rockaway Creek was previously upgraded to a
Category One antidegradation designation (see 35 N.J.R. 2264(b),
May 19, 2003).
The proposal will be published in the New Jersey Register dated
November 3, 2003. The proposal is posted on the web at www.state.nj.us/dep/wms/bwqsa/docs/rnd2C1proposal.pdf.
Public hearing concerning the proposal is scheduled on:
Monday, December 15, 2003, from 3 PM to 5 PM or close of
testimony which ever occurs first and 6:30 PM to the close
of testimony, at:
Department of Environmental Protection
401 East State Street
Public Hearing Room
Trenton, NJ 08625
Comments should be submitted by January 2, 2004 to:
Gary Brower, Esq.
Attn. DEP Docket Number 23-03-10/412
NJDEP Office of Legal Affairs
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402