Rich McFadden - Errors and Omissions in NJDEP Information on Lake Hopatcong

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Posted by Rich McFadden - Your Opinion: The posted NJ DEP data shows that the monitoring threshold which the NJ DEP used to trigger their aggressive warning campaign is five (5) times striker than the World Health Organization, the Federal DEP and many other state DEPs such as Indiana, NY Etc... 20,000 pp/ml versus 100,000 pp/ml. 

And what's worse is that the DEP’s flyover information - which did show a bloom on June 26 - showed that that bloom decreased by 50% on June 28.  And then on June 30th, aerial surveillance could only see bloom activity in less than 5% of the observed flyover areas.   Without explanation the DEP only posted this information on 7/8/2019 and has yet to post the data from the 7/3/2019 fly over.

The corresponding NJ DEP sampling data from 7/2/2019 shows 100% of the samples below the Federal EPA recommendation levels, in fact of the 18 samples taken on 7/2/2019, the two highest only reached 53% and 65% of the 100,000 pp/ml recommendation.   When compared against the States recommendation levels, only 30% of the samples taken on 7/2/2019 exceeded the proposed standard of 20,000 pp/ml.  The latest sampling data from 7/5/2019 is just like the 7/3/2019 flyover data: Not Yet Posted by the NJ DEP.  All of this information is readily available on NJ DEP site as of 7/8/2019 – go look for yourself.

There was clear evidence of a Bloom forming, and the NJ DEP reacted appropriately by initiating a warning system. As a community and as a State, we need to clean up the nutrient pollution that is causing this situation, which will only worsen if we do not act. HOWEVER - the data suggests the immediate severity of the situation is significantly overstated and the messaging is inflammatory. The NJ DEP needs to step up and reevaluate their message.  

Our state officials’ actions resulted in the posting of "Don't touch the water" messages based on aerial observations made on 6/26/2019.  But then last night when those same officials were asked about the recently posted areal results, from 6/28 and 6/30 which showed the lake dramatically improving, those same officials responded: they cannot rely on the information provided by the subsequent aerial observations!

Commissioner McCabe, call your people in, reevaluate your messaging, and direct resources towards stopping the pollution, versus quarantining our community. 

ALSO - take a look at the aerial flight info (attached) posted by the NJ DEP yesterday.

Sincerely Yours

Rich McFadden, Lake Hopatcong

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