Delaware Riverkeeper Network

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Call DRN to report pollution incidents and waterway threats, or file a report online.

Specific agencies respond to different pollution events so be sure to contact the appropriate agency. Please click here for a list of hotline numbers throughout the Delaware Watershed that were compiled by DRN. When contacting the appropriate hotline, tell them all you can about the exact location and nature of the pollution. If you have the ability to safely walk upstream to find the source of pollution, this is ideal. Request a case number when you call, let them know you have alerted Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and request a call back from the assigned agency representative. If you have photos of the pollution, request an email address for these photos to be sent.

Pollution Hotline Reports

The Delaware River turned from crystal clear on June 24 at Belvidere, NJ to muddy brown, bank to bank, on Monday morning, June 26—and there was no storm. The river looked like the Mississippi from the upper reaches in New York State to Easton/Phillipsburg, over 100 miles of river. DRN notified the agencies in PA, NJ, and NY on Monday morning. By the end of the day, the explanation offered by New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) was that the June 19 horrific flash floods of the East Branch and the headwaters of streams in Delaware and Sullivan County caused runoff and muddy water and that the emergency clean up operations underway were contributing further muddy runoff. The reddish muddy condition of the river continues through the week. PADEP reported that they checked each major discharge and found no problems and that the Lehigh River was running clear. NYDEC reported that “stream cleaning” may cause muddy water off and on for a month. While DRN certainly understands the need for emergency removal of hazardous debris and the repair of bridges and roads, careful oversight is needed by NYDEC in permitting issued for the coming weeks of clean up.

Further sediment pollution to the streams can be prevented during clean up and repair through proper management and practice. The Delaware Riverkeeper lodged complaints with NYDEC after the 2006 floods because there were incidents of bulldozing and other damaging activities in the affected streams long after the floods, causing further degradation and damaging the streams’ ability to contain flood flows in the future. DRN sent a letter on June 26 to NYDEC investigating the genesis of the flash flood in the Delaware River’s upper reaches in the New York Catskills June 19 and inquiring how NYDEC is planning to oversee and permit clean up efforts related to this recent flood.

The MEI lagoon spilled into the Wickecheoke Creek when a contractor was installing electrical conduit pipe and de-watered a lagoon, causing an unpermitted discharge of waste materials that were in the lagoon. Sampling of the Creek is being done, upstream and downstream, and at the D&R canal and the Delaware River. The discharge started Tuesday and was stopped Thursday (verified as contained by NJDEP Thurs., Dec, 21). A notice of violation was issued by NJDEP. The NJWSA and D&R Canal Commission have also been involved. MEI handles radioactive substances so radiological testing is being done in the creek, along with metals and other regulated substances. NJDEP says the water cloudiness has cleared.

A resident reported October 16, 2006 that he saw a white substance being discharged from a pipe on a construction site in Lower Makefield Township to drainage ditch. The white milky substance then flowed from the drainage way to a tributary of Brock Creek and then into Brock Creek where it was still visible on the bottom of the creek for a distance. The substance was not stuck to the sides of the creek or drainage ways but did seem heavier than the water in the stream. The active construction site is on the corner of Oxford Valley Road and Heacock Road and the pipe goes under Emerald Drive, traveling about 100 yards from the construction site. The resident was advised to report immediately to the Township offices. DRN reported to Bucks Conservation District. The inspector from the Conservation District is visiting the site to investigate and will be taking all necessary action. Updates will be posted here.