All of the municipal and utility permit holders submitted reports on July 1, 2019 describing the options they are considering to reduce combined sewer overflows. While these reports are not the final plans they include the options being recommended for further evaluation and combinations of solutions that would be feasible to reduce overflows.
What you need to know:
All of the reports have been posted on New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection CSO site and can be downloaded here.
Comments can be submitted to the NJDEP CSO team leaders listed here: https://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/cso-contacts.htm
Your permit holder is also obligated to educate, engage and facilitate a two-way dialogue with the public. In addition to the NJDEP, please submit your comments and questions to your permit holders and ask them to hold public meetings to explain the evaluation of alternatives reports and get input from the public.
Do not be alarmed by the length of these reports! While many are roughly a thousand pages, most of it is background information or appendices. Feel free to read the whole thing if you have the time, but the actual substance of the reports tends to be between 100 – 200 pages.
All permit holders were required to evaluate these seven alternatives to combined sewer overflows.
Focus on these sections (titles may be different depending on the reports):
- Development and Screening of General CSO Controls – This section describes the alternatives that were looked at and makes recommendations for further evaluation.
- Development and Evaluation of Alternatives: This section evaluates the recommended alternatives based on reduction of flows and frequencies as well as examples of how the alternatives could be combined and includes costs.
Questions to consider when reviewing the reports:
- Were community benefits like green space, clean air, or job creation included in the evaluation of alternatives?
- Were low-cost solutions like fixing the pipes thoroughly evaluated?
- Was climate change or sea level rise taken into consideration?
- What percentage of green infrastructure was evaluated? And what was recommended for further evaluation?
- What do you think is missing?
- Will residents of all incomes, races, and ethnicities participate in and benefit from these decisions?
Use this worksheet to assist you in reviewing the reports.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about reviewing these reports or anything related to combined sewer overflows.