The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has embarked on a multilevel partnership effort that has resulted in a highly successful collaborative restoration process to address nutrient impairment on the Passaic River Basin (Basin). The 935 square mile Basin is located
in the northeast part of New Jersey, borders New York State to the north and is home to over 2 million New Jersey residents. The primary pollutant of concern is phosphorus, which is the subject of several studies funded by the NJDEP to support TMDL development. The purpose of this paper is
to document the collaborative watershed process that eventually arose out of litigation over permit requirements and how it will restore water quality in the Basin. As part of the TMDL development and eventual TMDL Report, the NJDEP will prepare and adopt an implementation plan designed
to achieve water quality improvement. One expected and decisive outcome of the TMDL process will be a strategic pollutant trading program between dischargers and possible point to nonpoint source (NPS) trading. Stakeholder involvement has been and continues to be the foundation towards New
Jersey's goal of “clean and plentiful water” for its citizens. Therefore, the watershed process will be a key avenue by which TMDL implementation for the NPS component of the TMDLs will be executed. The Passaic River Basin TMDL development process is an example of how state government
and diverse watershed stakeholders are “perfect together” when united to directly affect water quality improvement.
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