Issue #9           

Winter 2005           

 

The Basin Bulletin   
Newsletter for Stakeholders of the Raritan Basin Watershed    

 


NJDEP Division of Watershed Management Reorganization Completed

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Watershed Management completed the second phase of its reorganization in November.  The new Division structure organizes internal staff and work assignments according to function, rather than geography.  This is accomplished through the realignment of staff responsibilities in the Division’s bureaus and offices. 

“We remain firmly committed to the watershed approach to water resource management from both a quantity and quality perspective,” said Division Director Larry Baier.  “The functional reorganization of the Division is not a change in our water resource management strategy.  However, the allocation of staff resources along functional lines will enable the Division to act more quickly and decisively thus further aiding in the protection and restoration of the State’s water resources.” 

The bureaus within the Division of Watershed Management are the Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Restoration; the Bureau of Watershed Regulation and the Bureau of Watershed Planning.  In addition, the Division includes the Office of Watershed Education, Estuaries and Monitoring and the Office of Water Supply Policy.  A brief description of the major duties of each of these units follows.

The Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Restoration (BEAR), managed by Barbara Hirst, develops technical “tools” for the use of the Division and its partners in watershed planning, protection and restoration.  Among those responsibilities are

  • the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs);

  • the development of rules and regulations including stormwater management, water quality management planning, smart growth rules and portions of the Highlands rules;

  • and the development of model ordinances and guidance concerning rule implementation. 

The success of BEAR in meeting the Department’s TMDL and rule obligations largely influenced the decision to complete the functional organization.  In 2005, BEAR will continue compliance with the TMDL development schedule including finalization of the Passaic River Basin phosphorus TMDL, adopt new Water Quality Management Planning rules, develop rules required by the Highlands Act, and develop tools to assist in the implementation of the stormwater management rules such as updates to the Best Management Practices Manual and guidance for determining compliance with the required use of non-structural stormwater management practices.

The Bureau of Watershed Regulation (BWR) consolidates the Division’s regulatory programs including water quality and wastewater management planning, stormwater management reviews, and applicability determinations under the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act.  The newly appointed manager, Terry Pilawski, joins the Division from the NJPDES Discharge to Groundwater Permitting Program.  Terry brings a wealth of experience in wastewater management, treatment technology, groundwater hydrodynamics, and permitting with her to the Division. BWR will use the Division’s regulatory authority to implement Department policy including TMDLs, source water protection, critical habitat protection and water supply planning.  In 2005, BWP will eliminate of the backlog of water quality management plan amendment applications, expedite regulatory decisions in smart growth areas, implement Highlands applicability and water quality consistency determinations, and digitize adopted sewer service areas.

The Bureau of Watershed Planning (BWP) consolidates the voluntary watershed partnership aspects of the Division under the leadership of Kenneth Klipstein.  The functions of this bureau include:

  • the provision of technical support to independent watershed organizations, associations and local and county government units;

  • the administration of federal pass-through grant programs;

  • the development and oversight of regional water supply plans including those in Cape May, the Southeast and Northeast;

  • and promotion of voluntary implementation of Department initiatives such as TMDLs, source water protection, and septic management plans. 

BWP will focus on watershed restoration plans that provide a specific blueprint for the restoration and protection of a waterbody.  This watershed protection and restoration plan must identify the specific sources of pollution, the actions required to remedy those sources, estimate the cost of implementing the remedy and identify partnerships between the public and private sectors required for implementation.  In 2005, BWP will develop watershed restoration and protection plans for one stream segment in each of the 20 WMAs; and manage federal pass-through grant funds to accomplish the implementation of watershed restoration plans and implement TMDLs where those studies have been completed and provide the required degree of specificity. In addition, BWP will finalize the Southeast Water Supply Study; initiate the Northeast and Toms River-Metedeconk Water Supply Studies; and complete the supply and demand portions of the Cape May Water Supply Study.

The Office of Watershed Education, Estuaries and Monitoring (OWEEM), managed by Kerry Kirk Pflugh, includes the functions of former Office of Outreach and Education.  This includes the development and coordination of educational tools, publications, the Division website, outreach planning, volunteer monitoring program, the AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassadors Program as well as the Urban Fishing and fish consumption advisory programs.  Under the reorganization, the new responsibilities in the OWEEM are the coordination and administration of the Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (beach monitoring) and the Clean Shores Program as well as the Department’s participation in the three National Estuary Programs.  For 2005, OWEEM will integrate the coastal monitoring program with the national database required by the federal BEACH Act, represent the Department on the management committees of the three National Estuary Programs, and develop communications plan for Highlands Act implementation.

In addition, the water policy group has been reorganized into the Office of Water Supply Policy (OWSP).  Headed by Joseph Mattle, OWSP primarily coordinates the update of the Statewide Water Supply Plan.  The unit coordinates the Water Supply Advisory Council, water supply policy development and ensures that regional water supply plans are consistent with those policies. In 2005, OWSP will complete an update to the Statewide Water Supply Plan and issue water supply demonstration grants.

- Kyra Hoffmann                                                    

Supervising Environmental Specialist             

NJDEP Division of Watershed Management 

 

 

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