Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sierra Club to Take Legal Action to Protect New Jersey's Endangered Sturgeon

The Sierra Club is filing legal action through a Notice of Intent to Sue over what they believe is the DEP's failure to enforce the Endangered Species Act to protect the Delaware River and the surrounding ecosystem, by allowing the PSEG owned Mercer Generating Station to kill endangered sturgeon.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that NJ's Atlantic sturgeon population would be listed as Endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act effective April 2012.  NJ has only one other fish species listed as endangered - and it is also a sturgeon, the shortnose sturgeon.

From the Sierra Club website:
The Mercer Generating Station, on the Delaware River, kills around 70 million fish and other aquatic organisms in the Delaware River each year because the plant's outdated cooling systems. Atlantic sturgeon used to be so plentiful in the Delaware River that their roe (caviar) was shipped as far away as Russia. Today, there may be as few as 300 spawning adults in the Delaware River when a hundred years ago there were hundreds of thousands. 
Up to 690 million gallons of water are pulled from the river each day in the plant’s antiquated cooling system. The plant's victims include more than 30 species of fish each year, including the endangered shortnose sturgeon and the Atlantic sturgeon 
The NJ DEP must require PSEG to upgrade or retire the Mercer coal plant in order to prevent further impacts on endangered sturgeon and other aquatic species in the Delaware. PSEG can reduce its fish kills with the implementation of more efficient cooling towers that would reduce the amount of water drawn from the Delaware River, the number of organisms killed by water intakes, and the discharge of superheated water back into the Delaware.

We can't afford to lose any more of these endangered fish, especially when PSEG can easily reduce fish kills with new cooling towers.

You can send a message to Governor Christie and the DEP urging them to protect New Jersey's endangered sturgeon with the form at the Sierra Club website.

Atlantic sturgeon

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