Sometime in the near future, the city plans to place machines in the reservoir to remove unwanted debris.
The city, in compliance with state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations, has to remove 3,000 square feet of debris from the reservoir, located on Jefferson Avenue between Summit and Central avenues, which was dumped there several years ago.
In order to allow access to the dumped on areas and hasten the debris removal, city workers started draining the reservoir on Jan. 18. But the draining was halted on Jan. 28 after reservoir preservation activists raised concerns with the DEP that too much water was being drained out of the reservoir and possibly causing harm to the wildlife living in it.
Steve Latham, the president of the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance, said last week, "They said there are no ulterior motives, but obviously, there is no reason to take out that much water. It seemed like a midnight strike against the reservoir."Agreeing to removal
Bill Matsikoudis, the city's corporation counsel, said last week that a date has not been set as to when the debris will be removed.
A meeting took place on Feb. 7 with John Yurchak, director of the city's Department of Public Works, Oren Dabney, chief executive officer of the Jersey City Incinerator Authority, and Ray Smollin, an investigator for the DEP's Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance and Enforcement.
The meeting addressed the debris removal and the subsequent placement of it. Smollin stated, "The material should be removed as soon as possible, so as to allow the site to begin refilling and vegetation to begin restoring before the 2006 growing season."
Smollin also listed directions on how to remove the debris in a manner that would not disturb the reservoir, which is protected by the state's Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, as the reservoir contains open waters and freshwater wetland.
The directions are as follows:
* Smollin has to be contacted five days before the debris removal is conducted.
* A front-end loader or a similar machine can be used to remove debris as long as it does not harm the bottom of the reservoir, or bed.
* If the front-end loader or similar machine should cause harm to the bottom, then a long-arm machine would be used to remove the debris.
* Only remove the debris that needs to be removed.
* Disturbance to the bottom of the reservoir during removal should be limited as much as possible.
* Debris comprised of road millings, tar, and asphalt material will be removed from the reservoir and disposed at an approved facility.
* Natural rock taken out during the removal process will be placed near the entrance gate of the reservoir, located on Jefferson Avenue, to determine its value.
* Any disturbance to the bottom of the reservoir that would cause damage is considered a violation of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act. The bottom would also have to be repaired. Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at email@example.com