North Wildwood Responds to NJDEP Notices of Violations – Press release

The City of North Wildwood, acting through its attorney, today responded to the Notice of Violations (NOV’s) issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) on June 6, 2020.

North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello issued the following statement along with the submission:
“For over six years the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) have repeatedly missed deadlines and failed in their responsibility to construct the Hereford Inlet to Cape May Inlet Shore Protection Project, as mandated and funded at both the Federal and State Levels. This failure has led to the complete destruction of a mature dune and marine forest environment along the inlet and beachfront of North Wildwood. It has also placed human life and public and private property in grave danger and cost the City of North Wildwood over $10 million dollars for emergency protective work.

As documented in the response to the NOV’s released today, North Wildwood has repeatedly asked the NJDEP to take emergency action to address the alarming destruction of natural and manmade resources on the oceanfront of the City. These repeated requests have been completely ignored by the Office of the Governor, Commissioner of the NJDEP and Deputy Commissioner of the NJDEP. Not one of the nearly dozen correspondences were ever replied to. It is amazing, therefore, that on a Saturday in the midst of one of the most challenging summers in the history of the Jersey Shore, the NJDEP Commissioner herself would issue a press release regarding alleged violations that the NJDEP directly caused by their inaction.

The City of North Wildwood will avail itself to every legal recourse at its disposal to hold the NJDEP accountable for their failure to act and will also diligently investigate whether political factors led to the rash behavior of the NJDEP. It strikes me as beyond a coincidence, that for six years I could not get even the courtesy of an email reply from the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner in response to very real public safety concerns. However, within a week of my public criticism of the Governor regarding his handling of the State Economy, the NJDEP marshals the full resources of the Commissioner’s Office to issue NOV’s for things as trivial as the installation of an American Flag Pole some 30 years ago.

North Wildwood will continue to act as responsible stewards of our unique marine environment and I call on the NJDEP to put politics aside and do the same.

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