Compendium of Selected Environmental Standards

This is a compendium of standards for water and soil that are promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Included are:

This compendium includes the standards and information about the basis for the standards contained in the above referenced rules. Please refer to the applicable rules for the official information about the standards currently in effect and how they are administered by the Department. Obtain official versions of Department rules

All standards listed in alphabetical order by chemical name

Drinking Water Quality Standards

Drinking water standards are developed by both the Federal and State governments. The standards are set for biological contaminants, dissolved chemicals and suspended particulate matter and are based on those levels necessary to protect public health as well as analytical and treatment limitations. These contaminants are naturally occurring, the result of industrial and/or domestic pollution. For more information, please visit the Division of Water Supply and Geoscience.

Ground Water Quality Standards

The Ground Water Quality Standards (GWQS), N.J.A.C 7:9C , establish the designated uses of the State’s ground waters and specify the water quality (criteria) necessary to attain those designated uses. The ground water quality criteria are numerical values assigned to each constituent (pollutant) discharged to ground waters of the State. The GWQS also contain technical and general policies to ensure that the designated uses can be adequately protected. Ground water is classified according to its hydrogeologic characteristics and designated uses. For information regarding the technical support documents for the interim groundwater quality criteria, please visit the Division of Science and Research. For more information on Ground Water Quality Standards, please visit the Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards.

Surface Water Quality Standards

The Surface Water Quality Standards (SWQS), N.J.A.C. 7:9B , establish designated uses for waters of the State, classify streams based on uses, designate antidegradation categories, and develop water quality criteria to protect those uses. Designated uses include drinking water supply, fish consumption, shellfish resources, propagation of fish and wildlife, recreation, and agricultural and industrial water supplies. In addition, the SWQS specify general, technical, and interstate policies, and policies pertaining to the establishment of water quality-based effluent limitations. For more information on Surface Water Quality Standards, please visit the Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards.

Soil Remediation Standards

The soil remediation standards, codified in the NJ Remediation Standards rules at N.J.A.C. 7:26D establish the minimum residential direct contact and non-residential direct contact soil remediation standards. These rules do not establish the minimum impact to ground water soil remediation standards; these standards are developed by the Department on a site-by-site basis, pursuant to the Department’s authority under N.J.S.A. 58:10B-12a. For more information on Soil Remediation Standards, please see remediation standards guidance and a copy of the Remediation Standards Rules.