Rules on Illegal Snow Dumping May Be Eased in New Jersey

Officials in New Jersey may relax the rule against dumping excess snow into waterways with a winter storm expected to bring heavy accumulation battering the state this week.

The practice of dumping plowed snow into waterways is illegal because of pollutants it contains could leak into the state's lakes and rivers, but New Jersey may have to make an exception.

"We're a little bit concerned with the number of snow storms we're having this year and some of the towns, cities, even businesses running out of space as to what to do with the snow," Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese said.

State officials said decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, and that snow cannot be dumped in wetlands, small streams, waters that contain shellfish beds or drinking water reservoirs.

"Snow ends up containing a lot of road salts and hydrocarbons from cars, and some of that pollution gets absorbed when you throw it into the rivers like that," New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel.