Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New App For Environmental Violations

A new app allows members of the public to report non-emergency environmental violations to the state Department of Environmental Protection.
It uses GPS technology to pinpoint locations and allows users to submit photos, according to the DEP.
The pilot WARN NJDEP mobile application is in addition to the DEP’s telephone hotline, 877-WARNDEP, which has been in operation for many years.

 "This application gives the public a direct portal into reporting incidents ... effectively giving us more eyes on the ground while helping us to assign cases to the appropriate response agencies more efficiently,” said Bob Van Fossen, the DEP’s emergency management director.

 It lets the public easily report non-emergency environmental incidents, Commissioner Bob Martin said, including improper storage or disposal of waste, odor complaints, sewage leaks, smoke and dust complaints, underground storage tank incidents and wetlands- or stream-encroachment issues.
The app can be downloaded through Google Play, the Apple Store and the Microsoft app store. Enter “WARN NJDEP” in the search bar.

The app is not intended to report life-threatening and/or environmental emergencies. Those should be reported by calling 911, local police or the DEP hotline, according to the state.

 It also is not supposed to be used by regulated entities for fulfilling notification requirements to the DEP. Those entities must continue to use existing channels.

The DEP said its Communications Center receives tens of thousands of calls annually, ranging from nuisance wildlife complaints and wildfires to hazardous-material releases.

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