State Updates: COVID-19
As discussed in Governor Murphy’s press conferences this week, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet about the current COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you, and your residents,
to visit the official state website, https://covid19.nj.gov/, for the latest news, guidance, resources and support. In addition, some of you have reached
out with questions about businesses that are not complying with the Governor’s executive orders. To replace the hotline, Governor announced the creation of a portal to report violations: https://covid19.nj.gov/violation.
We at DEP continue to follow the guidance of Governor Murphy, the Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We are working remotely, but we continue to be available to you and your residents.
Municipal Water Systems
This week, the Governor asked the owners of municipal water systems to pledge to keep water on for residents and customers during this crisis, regardless of their ability to pay bills.
Hundreds of you responded immediately, committing to do so for your residents. Thank you for your commitments and your service. If you have not yet had the chance to email your pledge to KeepWaterOn@dep.nj.gov,
details can be found in the attached. It is a privilege to work with such dedicated public servants, and I thank you.
Amidst the epidemic, DEP’s Division of Compliance and Enforcement issued several advisories to our regulated community. This includes guidance for public water systems and wastewater
monitoring, licensed operators, and certified laboratory concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The full advisory can be found at: http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/advisories/2020-05.pdf.
They also issued the attached guidance to facilities regarding the continued mandate to self-report spills to the WARN DEP hotline, 1-877-WARN-DEP. Please be advised that hotline remains operational, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Social Distancing in Parks
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, DEP has kept state parks open for New Jersey residents to utilize for passive recreation. DEP has announced tips for maintaining practice of
social distancing while visiting state parks. Please see the attached. Below are DEP’s social media. Feel free to follow and like our pages to get more information regarding DEP and state parks.
DEP Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1513586705488315
State Parks Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-NU4n5l90Y/
State Parks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStateParks/videos/200557224715134/
NJ 2020 Statewide Historic Preservation Commission Survey
The New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has begun work on a comprehensive update to the New Jersey Historic Preservation Commission Directory. This effort will identify
those municipalities in the State that have historic preservation commissions and are actively involved in the protection of their important historic landmarks and districts. HPO staff is currently visiting municipal websites to gather preliminary information
and intends to follow up with municipalities via telephone and/or email to obtain additional information as needed. Please see the attached for more information.
Community-Based Art Grant Program
Several weeks ago, we alerted you to the above grant program, part of a larger risk communications campaign. The intent of art installations for the program is to bring attention to
the impacts of flooding in the coastal zone. To ensure everyone’s health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, DEP has determined it is in the best interest of community-based organizations, artists, and our communities to postpone this
program, including the Notice of Funds Availability. Our intent is to re-announce the funding, with a revised timeline, in the fall of 2020. You can learn more about the program here: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/cmp/309-riskcommunication.html.
Thank you for your understanding.
Environmental Justice Advisory Council
DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice has extended the application deadline to join the Environmental Justice Advisory Council to April
13, 2020. The 18-member council advises the Commissioner of the DEP on issues involving environmental justice and public health in New Jersey. For more information, including access to an application, visit https://www.nj.gov/dep/ej/.
Questions can be directed to Riche Outlaw of DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice, (609) 775-7455, firstname.lastname@example.org.