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EPA Announces $745,000 Grant For Lake Hopatcong New Jersey

Release Date: 11/22/2005
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FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, November 22, 2005


(#05142) NEW YORK – Advancing its work to protect America's watersheds, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today highlighted the selection of Lake Hopatcong for a $745,000 grant as part of the Agency's Targeted Watersheds Grants. Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator appeared with grant partners Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, State Senator Anthony Bucco, Lake Hopatcong Commission Chairman Arthur Ondish and other dignitaries to announce the grant, which will improve water quality in Lake Hopatcong and its watershed by reducing phosphorus that goes into the watershed from storm water and septic systems. The grant will fund improvements to storm water systems, installation of innovative techniques to inactivate phosphorus, expanded public outreach and education campaigns, and a demonstration project for alternative wastewater treatment. Reducing phosphorus and effectively treating wastewater are essential for lake restoration.


"Lake Hopatcong has enormous environmental and economic importance, and we are delighted to fund Lake Hopatcong Commission's efforts to implement these innovative technologies and take a more pro-active role in watershed protection," said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. "By engaging stakeholders through productive partnerships such as these, we further our goals of improving water quality and safeguarding our natural resources."


Lake Hopatcong is a major year-round recreational center for 500,000 annual visitors, and its watershed serves a population of over 65,000 in two counties and four municipalities. As the state's appointed steward for Lake Hopatcong, the commission oversees and safeguards the natural, scenic and recreational resources of the lake.

"Lake Hopatcong is New Jersey's largest inland lake. It supports a full range of recreational activities and is considered one of the best freshwater fisheries in the state," said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "I commend EPA for awarding such a substantial grant to assist New Jersey's efforts to further improve and protect the valuable water resources of Lake Hopatcong."

The Lake Hopatcong Commission will build upon previously funded storm water activities to implement an approved phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL. Total Maximum Daily Loads define the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards. They are developed by states and approved by EPA once it determines that the TMDL will indeed allow the waterbody to achieve water quality standards. Phosphorus can promote the overgrowth of algae and other aquatic plants.

The grant will fund proposed projects that address storm water contributions through the installation of storm sewer retrofits and best management practices, apply measures to inactivate phosphorus, and demonstrate an alternative wastewater treatment system. The project will focus on quantifying the phosphorus removal to evaluate what works best.

The EPA's Targeted Watershed Grants Program builds on the energy, commitment, experience and enthusiasm of local, citizen-driven efforts. Created in 2001, the Lake Hopatcong Commission, made up of representatives from state, county and local governments as well as local stakeholders, collaborates to monitor, protect and restore the lake and provide educational outreach on lake restoration efforts.

For more information on the Targeted Watershed Grants Program, visit
www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/initiative.