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DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell has announced the immediate closure
to harvesting of approximately 1,350 acres of shellfish beds in Barnegat
Bay, Ocean County. The closure is to guard against the potential for
release of sewage during the Ocean County Utilities Authority's (OCUA)
scheduled repairs on the wastewater discharge line from its treatment
plant in Bayville. The wastewater discharge pipe carries treated
wastewater effluent into the ocean.

During one of OCUA's integrity tests of its pressurized wastewater
lines earlier this year, the utility discovered a leak in the outfall
line that was immediately repaired with a temporary plug. OCUA is now
preparing to repair the pipe permanently, necessitating the temporary
closure of the neighboring shellfish beds during the repairs.

The affected section of pipe is located approximately 1,400 feet west
of South Seaside Park in Barnegat Bay. The waters affected by the
shellfish bed closure are south of Toms River and Seaside Heights.

The DEP will be monitoring the surrounding shellfish waters during the
repair and will reopen the shellfish beds as soon as water quality
levels meet approved criteria.

An online version of this information, including the official Notice of
Closure and a map of the closed area, is available at
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/newsrel/2004/04_0144.htm.
 
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