Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Scenes from an American Street Fair

A recent tradition, the June Street Fair features vendors,
a wide variety of food, live music, and displays from
local township volunteers.
New Jersey moves fast.  When someone asks you to get back to them with results, whether it's for work, volunteering, or the snack schedule for your kid's soccer team, they mean "tomorrow" not "sometime next week."  This is especially true in the Northeast, near the city, where traffic is congested and everyone seems to be on their way to their next appointment, even if they're only 8.  Get out of New Jersey and you'll find this changes pretty quickly.  Just across the border in Pennsylvania, people actually begin to understand that things like torrential rain or snow can cause traffic delays.  Down in the Southern states or out towards the Midwest, this sort of preference to the slow and methodical over the frenetic is even more pronounced.  North Jersey does have its slower spots though and those in turn even have a few slower days per year.  As a bedroom community with more schools than many of its neighbors, Pequannock would never be mistaken for some sleepy mountain village during most weekday mornings or evening commutes.  Still though, residents do know how to enjoy life and how to take a break.

Fresh lemonade was almost a necessity at 2015's
Street Fair on the newly paved asphalt of the
Newark Pompton Turnpike.
The annual Pequannock Street Fair, though a recent tradition, is an example of this suburban slowdown.  Up to perhaps the 1960's, in addition to the usual selection of high school sports each weekend, the community had annual events at the gravel pit, out by the old Shaw's Silver Factory, which too was the site where RMI would develop the rocket engine that would go on to break the sound barrier.  Of course there was also a broad array of church socials and picnics throughout time, though evidence of those is mostly lost to the annals of history.  Swimming holes were a popular pass-time in the hotter months and Pequannock was once home to both the municipal beach at PV Park and the private McDonald's Beach across Alexander Ave.

Despite cuts to the High School music program
music education remains a strong interest
for the Pequannock community
seen here at the Shamrock  School of
Music mainstage.
Today, Pequannock boasts a number of public parks, many with cool shady areas perfect for the Summer months.  PV Park is still a major attraction and for those who'd rather get on the water than it it, Woodland Lake offers a rustic charm for boaters and fishermen.  Other pass-times have passed by, with McDonald's beach closing decades ago and the old gravel pit now a medical center.  It doesn't matter though because though the locations have changed and the faces have certainly changed, the traditions remain the same: good people getting together with their families and community to enjoy the Summer weather and a day without work.  

The firehouses still do wet-downs and the Hoe Down each Fall is a decades old tradition, as are July 4th Fireworks.  New activities like the Street Fair each June, and Farmer's Markets in town or nearby attract residents of all ages.  Even natural resources are getting an upgrade, like the kayak and paddle boat rentals at Woodland Lake, the restored pond and dock at Greenview Park, or the kiosk and trail upgrades in Mountainside Park.  For those with a green thumb, the recently added Community Garden has seen enough interest to expand since its opening several years ago.

Volunteers from the Pequannock Historic Commission
were out in force providing information about the
Township's many historical preservation efforts.
Soon, residents can expect to enjoy a scenic walk along the river as the Pequannock Riverwalk Project approaches its unveiling.  A  planned expansion to the Pequannock Library will provide even more room for kids looking to enjoy some AC and a good book while participating in the Summer Reading Program.

If you've enjoyed this lengthy, but not exhaustive look back at Pequannock's Summer recreation over the decades, there's one more activity you should consider: Visit the Pequannock History Museum on Evans Place between Noon and 3pm the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month.  It is air conditioned and admission is free.  There you'll learn about a wide variety of Pequannock's history from its status as a stop along the Morris Canal to its place in history as home of Medal of Honor Recipient James R. Evans.

Got a Summer recreation story?  Leave a comment!

A display about the past offers a glimpse into the
future: Many Pequannock residents have sought
to purchase and preserve the historic Martin
Berry House as township historic site.

In honor of the 275th anniversary of the founding of
Pequannock, many talented local students took the
time to produce wonderful historic projects about
the town.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Pequannock Stop & Shop

By Christopher Lotito

Dear Pequannock,

As of 7:45am on Friday March 16th, 2014 Pequannock is no longer a township without a supermarket: the long-awaited Stop & Shop is opening.

Congratulations to Arlene Putterman and all of the staff at the new Stop & Shop, we wish you tremendous success.  It is also important to note that in addition to the Stop & Shop we are getting a PNC bank outlet within the Stop & Shop and a Stop & Shop Pharmacy.  The Stop & Shop also features a deli replete with Boar's Head products, a bakery, an organic and health food department, expanded pet products, automotive and outdoor products, and of course sandwiches, salads, and sushi.  Fee free PeaPod Grocery Pick-up as well as the Stop & Shop Gas Rewards program are available at this location.  The store opening has brought 150 new job positions to Pequannock Township.  Bill Diffin, a Pompton Plains resident and Stop & Shop veteran, has been appointed store manager, for which we are grateful.

On the unfortunate subject of flooding, the new Stop & Shop is prepared with flood barriers at each door, an enhanced flood-resistant mechanical room, and a new water-resistant exterior paint.  Subterranean pumps will remove any water which does seep into the building.

All of this and the other renovations were done, amazingly, to LEED environmental certification standards making the building one of the few in the area to embrace sustainability along with the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne and the BestBuy of Riverdale.

In celebration of their opening, as well as in the spirit of good government and good citizenship, Stop & Shop has donated $1,000.00 apiece to the local Boys & Girls Club, Newbridge Services, and the First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains, each of which performs community outreach and oversees a number of programs for the public good.

On a personal note, during my time as a municipal volunteer I went from being a member of the Environmental Committee learning about drainage (and lack thereof) in the area, to being a member of the newly formed Flood Committee working to improve flood response and mitigation, to being a victim of the flooding, and to finally becoming a member of Open Space Committee which oversees flood buyouts.  Suffice it to say that the opening of this Stop & Shop, the first supermarket in Pequannock since August of 2011, fulfills something which was deeply missed in our community.

Happy Shopping,

Here are a bunch of photos while you are waiting:

New digital scales in the produce department help you stay in budget.

They sell spicy kimchi here by the jar.  That's a good sign.

Specials lined up for the first day.

Spacious and festive fresh produce department.

The baked goods look great.  To their testament, no bagels or donuts were available when
I was there because they're baked fresh on site.

The new pharmacy and bakery.

This store has a huge frozen section.
Flood barriers on the exterior.

McDonald's for rent still, know anybody who is interested?

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In Pequannock, Up a Creek and With a Stop and Shop

Current Stop & Shop fruitbowl logo, shared wit...
Current Stop & Shop fruitbowl logo, shared with Giant-Landover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Christopher Lotito

Stop & Shop recently announced that they will open a store at the old A&P site in Pompton Plains, effectively eradicating the food desert that had existed in Pequannock Township since Hurricane Irene struck in August of 2011.  However, some residents still believe it is only a matter of time before the next flood and evidence exists to support their concerns.

On June 20th 2013, Pequannock News reported a lack of progress regarding management of regional reservoir levels to prevent future flooding.  At that time, no meaningful legislation had been passed to reduce these huge stores of water which maintained at unscrupulously high levels and drained at the worst possible time at the height of floods, much to the chagrin of residents living downstream from them.  The full article is available here: http://www.pequannocknews.com/2013/06/one-year-ago-pequannock-pushes-for.html

Some have now asked if the Stop & Shop may face the same fate as the A&P.  While many factors of flooding in the region are beyond control, such as weather patterns, unethical storm-water distribution from New York State, and the unwillingness of developers to modify existing commercial sites to reduce the risk of catastrophic flooding, permanent steps could be taken by the State of NJ to protect communities from future disasters.

Unfortunately, despite formulating a robust 15 point plan of action for flood mitigation, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission has failed to make any updates or complete any meaningful work in flood prevention since March of 2013.

Pequannock News reviewed the Commission's progress report (which the astute reader will note consists of problems and solutions identified but not acted upon prior to Hurricane Irene) and found that no updates have been made in almost a year: http://www.nj.gov/dep/passaicriver/docs/prbfac-progress-report.pdf

  • The NJ DEP working with federal funding and municipalities throughout the region has completed a huge number of home buyouts, the majority of which were directly on the banks of the Passaic River.  This action of course does nothing to preserve communities or to prevent flooding from happening again in the future.
  • Similarly, the NJ DEP has helped complete large numbers of home elevations using federal and state financing, ensuring that if the flooding cause is not resolved, generations of future homeowners will still have to evacuate their homes due to high waters, putting themselves and emergency workers in the path of danger.
  • The NJ DEP, under pressure from Pequannock and others, has finally agreed not to remove the historic feeder dams along the old Morris Canal, which have been found to actually provide additional flood storage for Pequannock and downstream communities.  This is good news, but no effort has been made or is planned to de-silt and maintain these structures in order to restore their water storage capacity to what it once was.

This list goes on, but fails to go anywhere meaningful.  Despite a lack of updates to the public, funds have continued to be available for municipalities to complete localized river and stream maintenance, removing fallen trees and other potential snags from the waterway.  That's good news, but it's not enough.  Without a comprehensive overhaul of the Passaic River waterways, whether from channelization, flood walls, or a true dredging of the river, Stop & Shop and other businesses along the river are only borrowing the land from mother nature in between floods.

That no updates have been made to either the Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission website (http://www.nj.gov/dep/passaicriver/) or to the progress report sends a clear message that flood control is no longer a priority for the NJ DEP, a message sure to be poorly received by the thousands of homeowners still living in the flood zones of the Passaic River Basin.

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District and Open Space Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Pequannock History Book Fights Counterfeits

By Christopher Lotito

It would be easy to presume that the biggest obstacles to preserving local history in small-town New Jersey suburbia would be development, apathy, and maybe lack of funding, but few would imagine that counterfeiting would play a role in destroying the history of Pequannock Township.
Butler Genealogical Map

There are already a couple great books about Pequannock History, including Emil Salvini's and George Parr's.  Limited print run affairs, these works have become history themselves and so though a market exists among the hundreds of members of Facebook group such as "Friends of the Pequannock Historic District Commission" and others, a dearth of materials in print makes for a desperate situation when it comes to local history research and genealogy.  There is a thriving secondary market for used copies of these books, as well as works such as old Pequannock High School yearbooks and the Holy Spirit 25th Anniversary book, which is frankly pretty "gray" as markets go, with little concern as to where these works are sourced from and whether they will end up benefiting the public at large, or just a single enthusiast.  What readers may not be aware of is that there is a black market in knock-off historic Pequannock documents, photos, and postcards.
Aerial Detail, Pompton Plains, 1950's

Really, the counterfeit materials are not the problem, after all the Pequannock Township History Museum sells a limited run of local history postcards, and reproduction postcards are a wonderful way for everyone who wants or needs a copy of these historic images to add them to their personal collections.  The real issue arises when these images are reproduced month after month after month on sepia toned card-stock and then sold on eBay as the "real deal."  Collectors who buy these may not realize that they are really purchasing a reproduction, since these are often sold as legitimate.  Buying a counterfeit piece of Pequannock history off of eBay will cost you between $2 and $15 as of this writing, but the cost to local history is immeasurably higher as we start to see these counterfeit cards entering circulation and ending up in the hands of next-of-kin, again mistakenly thought of as legitimate antiques.  Add to this a high number of errors, mis-labelings (on the part of counterfeiters), and an overall low quality of reproduction and you have a growing number of obstacles to researchers working to educate themselves and others about the history of Pequannock.

Postcard, "The Pequannock River"
To combat this, I'm seeking to reduce or eliminate the demand for these low-quality counterfeits by publishing a photo-book, at the printing cost, containing high resolution and enhanced copies of hard to find historic images of Pequannock and Pompton Plains, and which is clearly a reproduction.  The book, "Lotito's Visual History of Pequannock - Vol. 1" includes 26 high resolution scans of historic images with a number of postcards, a ton of maps, unseen aerial perspectives, and original work spot-lighting specific historic eras and transformations (like the restoration of the Pompton Plains Railroad Station). (http://www.lulu.com/shop/christopher-lotito/lotitos-visual-history-of-pequannock-vol-1/paperback/product-21317312.html)

A complete list of plates follows:
List of Plates:
Pompton Plains R.R. Station (col. 1900's)(cover)
East and West Jersey (Worlidge, 1800's)
Pequannock, Montville, Boonton (1800's)
Butler Genealogical (1800's)
Pequannock Genealogical (1800's)
Pompton Plains R.R. Station #1-#4 (2004, unrestored)
Pompton Plains R.R. Station #1,2 (2012, restored)
Guardbank South of Spillway (1920's)
Culvert, Pequannoc (1920's)
Pequannoc Spillway (1920's)
2012 - Railroad North from Jefferson St. - Comparison shot.
Pompton Dam, Pompton Plains (2012)
Pequannoc Spillway, Pompton Plains (2012)
Railroad North from Jefferson St. (2012)
The Pequannock River (col. postcard 1900's)
Swimming Pool, Camp Madison (postcard 1900's)
Welcome Wagon / Country Furniture Shop (1950's)
First Reformed Church Postcard #1
First Reformed Church Postcard #2
First Reformed Church Burnt #1
FRC Burnt #2
Pequannock, 1950's Aerial w/ Church
Pequannock, 1950's Aerial w/ Village

The book can be purchased at this link for just $19.95: http://www.lulu.com/shop/christopher-lotito/lotitos-visual-history-of-pequannock-vol-1/paperback/product-21317312.html  -- Proceeds go towards producing more history books!

    Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

Monday, November 11, 2013

In Pequannock, a 70 Year Tradition Enters a New Era

By Christopher Lotito

Press Release from Facebook:

Please join us this Wednesday November 13th at 4:15pm to celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of the Pompton Plains Pre-School. A Ribbon cutting ceremony will be held with Mayor Richard Phelan, Deputy Mayor Melissa Florance-Lynch and members of the town council, the school staff, and the General Public.  You will have time to tour the Nursery school and to ask questions about what programming might be provided for your child!

Located in Friendship Hall at 525 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains Pre-School is family-oriented pre-education childcare solution in operation for over 70 years.  If you or your loved one has need of childcare that is affordable, effective, and focuses on the care of the child as well as the needs of the parent, this is your opportunity to tour a unique facility that has had a local presence in the lives of Pequannock citizens for several generations.

In the spirit of the season of giving, you may bring a canned good for donation the Pequannock Food Pantry if you choose.

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

Friday, August 9, 2013

Vignettes from New Jersey's Other Disaster Zone

By Christopher Lotito

I've never been mugged, thank God.  Not really.  Shaken down for my lunch money maybe, but even then nothing that I couldn't chalk up to a typical suburban childhood.  Still I like to watch people, especially celebrities, when they give speeches and try to analyze what they're really thinking and feeling.  It helps me to communicate more clearly when I speak publicly and I'd recommend it for anyone.  ...so that's how I had a pretty good idea of what was going on as soon I saw 2 Asian men surround a blonde man on the sidewalk near where my family was eating lunch in Seaside Heights.

It was the middle of a bright sunlit day and if we'd passed a number of houses still damaged and unrestored courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, the neighborhood of the Hershey Motel still didn't give off a particularly malevolent "vibe" of any sort.

No one else at the picnic table in front of that little deli noticed as the men crossed the street, making eye contact with the victim.  Did he try to run?  No... there was something else there... recognition perhaps?  These were people this man knew.  So I hesitated, sure, I didn't want to make a big deal out of nothing and I sure didn't want this to be a crime going on in front of me.  What if these men were dangerous, armed, and perhaps didn't appreciate any interference in what they were about to do?  On the other hand, the victim, whoever he was, must have been someone's kid, someone's brother... heck, in another life maybe I could have been standing there, positions reversed.

When they started to push him, I still hoped that they were just play fighting, familiar, like siblings, but I knew somewhere in the back of mind that this wasn't the case.  The blonde man was too scared, his eyes wide and darting.  My father chewed his sandwich, thoughtfully, facing the wrong direction, towards me.  My mother sought salt packets in the bottom of her purse, unaware, hungry from a long drive and time stuck in traffic.  Really though, it happened so fast, not like an action shot in the movies, not with a scuffle or raised voices or some loudly dubbed comic book punching noise.  It was quiet, like drowning, and the blonde man was on the ground and they were kicking him.

My voice sounded strange in my ears when I stood up and yelled, "I see you, I have my camera, get out of here, I'm calling the cops!" waving my phone at them, as though any usable video would have come out of that maneuver even had I been recording, which I hadn't had time to do.  I didn't even know when I'd gotten my phone out, there wasn't a lot of conscious thought, though I guess I was thinking whatever happened, my next move wouldn't be to get closer to the attackers, but to put myself between them and my kid sister.  I did think that and as fast as I thought it, the one Asian man grabbed his buddy's elbow and they both ran, back, past our table.  The blonde kid took one look at the situation and bolted in the opposite direction.  If I blinked I almost could have missed the whole exchange.  Hyped up on adrenaline, it almost felt like I had in fact blinked, like I couldn't process all that had happened so quickly.

We finished our meals.  There was no police report, what could we report?  We circled the block before we went back to the motel.  In twenty minutes I was on the beach, past streets of rotting empty houses, over sidewalks still covered with sand, and across a brand new boardwalk built with State and Federal disaster funds, out of green weatherproof board and with a decorate herringbone pattern that would be the envy of Wildwood.  Workers hammered away at a handicapped accessible ramp to the boards, their truck parked in the driveway of a home with no back wall, the yard covered in debris and furniture.

We paid our $6 to get onto the beach, at 3:30pm when the lifeguards go home at half-past 5, and were one of only a few families on the beach, despite the sun.  Newspaper says rentals there are down this year, but they give the numbers of renters, not percentages of vacant habitable structures.

We go for pizza on the boardwalk, I don't eat pizza because it has dairy, that's okay I'm used this sort of thing.  My mother wants to know why the boardwalk stops 8 feet out from the side of a few of the storm damaged shopfronts.  I know, or I guess: that's the part the building owner owned.  Selection is poor, prices are outrageous, and everything is a bar with a restaurant in the back as an afterthought, but honestly it might have been that way beforehand.

We see yellowed signs on closed business advertising connections to MTV's "Jersey Shore."  We see "Stronger Than the Storm" everywhere, but those are not yellowed quite yet.  My dad read an article that said every dollar from "Stronger Than the Storm" t-shirt sales goes to recovery.  I wonder if the tiny pushcart selling them for cash only knows that?

We walk home, it's dark, but many of the streetlights are on.  The sand on the sidewalks is soft, but sometimes there are rust nails and parts of old boards in it.  We are not mugged.  The hotel is clean, but the beds are ancient.  The bathroom, newly renovated needs a diffuser for the florescent light.  You know it's all new because you can see the wires and the insulation in the ceiling.  The door is new, the hinges are coated in a heavy rust.

Breakfast at the hotel's cafe is included.  The food is decent, the staff pleasant, the coffee an offensive flavor of brown.  Another day.

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mystery Tombstones Raise Questions in Pequannock

By Christopher Lotito

Mysterious tombstones labeled with the names of Pequannock Township's historic personages have experts baffled.  A collection of at least 10 tombstones, apparently taken at some time from the plots of residents buried at Pompton Plains First Reformed Church cemetery once formed a spooky walkway around Dr. Ostergaard's office in Pompton Plains.  Many patients may not have been aware that they were stepping on these former memorials as the stones were situated face down for quite a while.

The Pequannock Township Historic District Commission recently became aware of these monuments when they were offered as a donation to that organization, which specializes in preserving Pequannock's history.  How the stones moved from memorial to home-improvement (in the form of a walkway) is not readily clear, though it's theorized they may have been removed around the 1930's during the construction of a glass corridor connecting the First Reformed Church's Sanctuary to the church house.  It is unclear at this time what the final resting place of the tombstones will be or whether or not that will be with the remains of those who they were created to memorialize as it appears some of the stones could end up in private collections.

One of the stones in question, Ann H. Webb Ryerson, appears to be associated with a Lucas M. Ryerson family memorialized in the First Reformed Church Cemeteryhttp://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=82065829

A tombstone for John A. Garrabrant who lived to the age of 86, expiring in 1868, remains a mystery as no trace can be found to indicate where his grave might be located.

A David G. Smith in Pequannock who died November 6th 1853 at 41 years of age can be found in the 1850 census, though little else is known about him.

Mary Kirk who died at age 52 in 1861 was the wife of Frederick Kirk, though again little else is know.

You can help!  -- If you know or can discover any information about these individuals, you could help reunite their gravestones with the associated graves.  Feel free to drop us a line at Pequannock News if you think you might be able to solve these tombstone mysteries!

Click on the images included for larger versions, or head over to our Facebook page to see the entire photo set!

  Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District and Open Space Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

Thursday, June 20, 2013

One Year Ago: Pequannock Pushes for Reservoir Management

a2_LOTITO_Pequannock_Flood_(Irene)_2011 090
a2_LOTITO_Pequannock_Flood_(Irene)_2011 090 (Photo credit: Christopher Lotito)
By Christopher Lotito

One year ago this month, still reeling in the wake of Hurricane Irene and the massive flooding that disaster caused throughout the region, Pequannock Mayor Rich Phelan requested and received support from the New Jersey League of Municipalities for a legislative bill to use regional reservoirs in a way that helps to reduce downstream flooding.

Over time, numerous bills have been considered that would help flood affected North Jersey communities by better managing the reservoir resources, but time and time again those bills have "died in committee" -- specifically the "Environment and Solid Waste Committee"

Pequannock's Township Council continued a public push for reservoir management legislation with a petition drive, receiving several thousand signatures from Pequannock, Lincoln Park, and several other municipalities.  Notably, a number of signatures were obtained at the entrance to the Lincoln Park Shoprite, one of the few remaining supermarkets in the Pequannock food desert which became a reality when Hurricane Irene forced the permanent closure of the Pompton Plains A&P.  (As of this writing, a new supermarket has applied for signage at the A&P shopping center, but no opening date has been set.)

At this time, it appears we are little closer to a legislative reservoir management solution than prior to Hurricane Irene.  Naturally this does not sit well with many Pequannock, Wayne, and Lincoln Park residents who live within the path of the all too frequently rising waters.  One bill however does offer some hope as it has proceeded further along the legislative process than perhaps ever before.  A3928, sponsored by Annette Quijano, Connie Wagner, and Tim Eustace was introduced in March of 2013 and has actually made it back out of the Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee for a 2nd reading, with amendments.

If passed, the bill "Permits Office of Emergency Management to order reduction in reservoir levels prior to weather emergency; requires DEP to adopt regulations concerning reservoir levels."  However, the amendments are somewhat concerning as they seem designed to strip the very authority the bill is intended to grant away from the State DEP and OEM:

  1. require that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) set the maximum level for each reservoir that ensures that reservoir safe yields are protected; 
  2. clarify that the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is required to work in consultation with the DEP when requiring that the water level of any reservoir be lowered; and 
  3. require OEM and DEP to consult with the owner of any reservoir when making a determination that lowering the water level of a reservoir is an appropriate course of action.

In other words, much of the decision to lower the reservoir would be referred back, once again, to the reservoir's immediate stakeholders: companies which sell water from those same reservoirs for profit.  What progress, if any, will be made even if this bill is passed is unclear at this time.

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