DEP says Jersey Shore Borough exceeds wastewater permit limits

WILLIAMSPORT, NJ, June 23, 2009 -- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Jersey Shore Borough to immediately stop accepting wastewater from oil and gas drilling for treatment at the borough's sewage treatment plant...

WILLIAMSPORT, NJ, June 23, 2009 -- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Jersey Shore Borough to immediately stop accepting wastewater from oil and gas drilling for treatment at the borough's sewage treatment plant.

"DEP approved Jersey Shore borough's request to accept limited amounts of oil and gas wastewater for disposal in July 2008," said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. "That approval was predicated on the borough following the requirements submitted in its gas well wastewater acceptance plan. The borough has not met the conditions of the plan."

The order requires the borough to immediately stop accepting all oil and gas wastewater delivered to the plant. Further, any oil and gas wastewater currently on site must be removed and disposed at another approved facility or sent to the treatment plant at a significantly reduced rate approved by DEP to ensure it does not adversely affect the treatment system.

Any future acceptance of oil and gas wastewater by Jersey Shore requires a prior approval by DEP of an amended wastewater discharge permit for which the borough must apply.

DEP sent a notice of violation letter to the borough in April for discharge permit violations that could be attributed to the acceptance of the oil and gas wastewater. The letter required the borough to evaluate the wastewater acceptance process.

Last week, DEP staff conducted a follow-up inspection at the plant that revealed many significant problems, including lack of proper pollutant load tracking; lack of proper flow restrictions; and failure to follow proper sample analysis prior to sending the wastewater to the sewage treatment plant.

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