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Support NJDEP’s Proposal to Upgrade Surface Water Quality Standards

Your Comment Is Needed to Support NJDEP’s Proposal to Upgrade Surface Water Quality Standards (SWQS) of 749 Miles of Waterways Through-out the State


NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has proposed to up-grade 749 miles of NJ waterways to Category One, or C-1, designation.

What is Category One (C-1)?
Category One waters are protected from any measurable change to existing water quality because of their exceptional ecological significance, exceptional recreational significance, exceptional water supply significance, or their significance as an exceptional fisheries resource.

The result of these up-grades will be that those waterways will be better protected from current and future pollution sources. Healthier, swimmable and fishable waterways anywhere in the state helps us all. The upgrades to C-1 are based on exceptional ecological significance protect waterbodies with suitable habitat verified by the Department to support specified Endangered and Threatened species and exceptional aquatic communities. The Department is additionally proposing to reclassify waters based on trout sampling data.

April 8, 2019 – Attend NJDEP Public Hearing
May 3, 2019 – Write comments (hard copy and electronic) and submit to NJDEP


Step One: Decide either to support all the proposed up-grades statewide, or take a minute and find a creek near your home or one that is important to you…maybe you went paddling or fishing there. Go to the NJDEP and download the Rule Proposal: ( Now you can easily search for any stream that you might want to highlight in your comment.

Step Two: Fill out this form and use the talking points below if desired to help you with your message:

Talking Points you may consider to help craft your comment:

  • I support NJDEP’s proposal to up-grade 749 miles of waterways to Category One designation.
  • I believe in the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and having a Category One designation will prevent pollution. Pollution allowed in State waters most likely diminishes recreational opportunities, reduces real estate values and may threaten our very limited surface water resources.Restoring or remediating our creeks and streams once they become polluted, degraded and impaired, is a difficult, time consuming, and expensive process. It is generally more cost effective to prevent degradation through water quality protections, such as upgrading waters to Category One designations, than to restore the waters after they become degraded.
  • I believe the result of these up-grades will be that our New Jersey waterways will be better protected from current and future pollution sources today, and for generations to come.
  • I believe that healthier, swimmable and fishable waterways anywhere in the state helps us all.

Attend the Public Hearing
A public hearing concerning this notice of proposal will be held on Monday, April 8, 2019, at 1:00 P.M. at:
New Jersey Forensic Science Technology Center Auditorium
1200 Negron Drive
Hamilton, NJ 08691

Other ways to submit a comment:

Each comment should be identified by the applicable N.J.A.C. citation (Surface Water Quality Standards Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.4 and 1.15, DEP Docket Number: 01-19-01. Proposal Number: PRN 2019-028.  Include your name and affiliation following the comment.

  • The Department encourages electronic submittal of comments. In the alternative, comments may be submitted on paper to:

Attn: Gary J. Brower, Esq.
DEP Docket Number: 01-19-01
Office of Legal Affairs
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
401 East State Street, 7th Floor
Mail Code 401-04LPO Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402