Lake Hopatcong: Not everyone agrees on how to keep it pollution-free

At issue, how to deal with untreated stormwater runoff

Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest lake, is a favorite for boating, fishing, and just kicking back. But pollution can be a problem, and there’s disagreement over how to keep the lake clean. In 2019, the lake was closed to the public because of harmful algal blooms, which can cause skin rashes and digestive issues. The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters hosted a boat tour for local officials on Wednesday to discuss how to prevent a repeat of the 2019 closure.

One proposed solution is by using the state’s stormwater utility law, otherwise known as the Flood Defense Act, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law in 2019. It allows local governments to impose a fee on a property owner if they are found responsible for flooding, largely due to runoff from a property.

Lead funding for Peril and Promise is provided by Dr. P. Roy Vagelos and Diana T. Vagelos. Major support is provided by Marc Haas Foundation and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim, III

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