WITH SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL PREDICTED, DEP REMINDS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ON STEPS FOR PROPER SNOW REMOVAL
(15/P10) TRENTON - With much of the state expected to see significant snowfall, the Department of Environmental Protection is reminding local and county governments on steps they can take to keep roadways and neighborhoods as safe and clear as possible while protecting the environment both during and after the storm.
The DEP is reminding governments to select snow disposal sites on upland areas, as far away as possible from water bodies and wetlands to protect these ecologically sensitive areas as much as possible from road salt and other potential contaminants.
If governments have no other option due to the volume of the snow and public safety needs, the DEP will consider authorizing disposal of snow in certain larger waterways in emergency situations and on a case-by-case basis only. Such exceptions must be approved by DEP first.
Authorizations to place snow into surface waters can be requested by contacting the DEP Hotline at: 1-877-WARNDEP (1-877-927-6337). They will be restricted to municipalities and counties just for this specific event. This option is not available to private businesses or residents.
Factors to be considered would include the size of the water body, presence of environmentally sensitive areas, flow of the waterway, amount of floating ice or snow this will cause, impact on downstream dams, and impact on channels being blocked.
Excess snow cannot be dumped in wetlands, small streams, waters that contain shellfish beds or drinking water reservoirs.
DEP approval is required for excess snow disposal, and noted that unapproved disposal into waterways is not permissible because there may be unknown contaminants in the snow that could pollute waterways.
All cities, towns and counties statewide have been notified by the DEP of this potential arrangement for emergency storm events.
“Protecting the state’s rivers, bays and lakes, as part of our water supply, is a priority,” said DEP Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources Dan Kennedy. “Any town, city or county that wants to put mass amounts of snow in our waters must get DEP approval.”
Assistant Commissioner Kennedy also stressed that clearance of snow from storm drains should be a top priority for road crews to allow for proper drainage of melting snow and avert flooding.
For other storm-related information from DEP, including information on impacts on state parks and historic sites, visit the DEP’s home page at http://www.nj.gov/dep/ and click on the Storm Info button.
Authorities that own and maintain combined sewer outfalls are also advised to make sure that nets designed to trap trash and other floatables are checked and cleared, if necessary, to allow for proper drainage when the snow melts.
For more information on snow removal guidelines and state policy on snow removal, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/snowremoval.html