“I didn’t think Weldon Quarry would come up,” said Bruce Friedman, director of the Division of Water Monitoring and Standards for the state Department of Environmental Protection during the Lake Hopatcong Commission meeting on Monday, July 8, at Hopatcong High School.
The audience of nearly 300 residents of the four lake communities was less surprised when residents questioned why concentrations of an algal bloom in the lake were high in the area near a silt discharge from the quarry.
Fred Lubnow of PrincetonHydro, the commission’s environmental consultant, said the monitoring site nearest the discharge was gave a .07 parts per million concentration of the bloom, one of the highest of the 10 sites around the lake. He said the firm did not sample for alkalinity, which might have indicated a continued siltation problem.
Friedman said the state would confirm there is no additional discharge from the quarry.
Josh Osowski, the DEP’s representative to the commission, said he had an update on the quarry.
Osowski said the quarry constructed a silt berm above the unnamed tributary that runs into the lake as well as an oil boom to combat residue from a 2018 oil spill off the Valiant Contracting site. With DEP oversight, the quarry removed 13 cubic yards of stone finds from the tributary and installed hay bales and silt fencing.
In answer to a question about the fine paid by Weldon Quarry, DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe said, “More important than the penalty is to see how they are operating.”