Category Archives: Environmental Issues

Wastewater in Old Lyme Connecticut

With my growing family, my wife and I moved to Old Lyme over fifty-five years ago. Then it was another coastal town with a stable year-round population and a large vacationer transient group who came here to enjoy the Long Island Sound shoreline beaches for about ten to twelve weeks in summertime. Many of these visitors scheduled their time here to mesh with summertime school vacations. Some owned cottages, others rented for a week or two, and others for the season. These cottages were clustered to be within walking distance of the sound. The average family had but one car which the husband used to go to work, and he would drive to the shore only on weekends.

One example of such a cluster of cottages in Old Lyme was aptly named White Sand Beach. The sand was dug from borrow pits on Buttonball Road, about a mile inland from the shore. It was fine, white, and free of clay or soil. The developer of this community spread this sand on top of a salt hay Spartina marsh. Now, Spartina grass is nice to look at but doesn’t lend itself to beach recreation. This beach community, and others like it, were frequently state chartered beach associations with enumerated powers and responsibilities. The developer provided paved roads and summer potable water from upland wells. Water delivery was limited to summer, and many pipelines were hardly buried or were not buried at all. Winter ice was not a problem since these pipelines were all drained annually when the summer season ended. It didn’t matter since the occupants were gone and would not return until the following June. This pattern repeated itself in several Old Lyme chartered beach associations.

Septic waste disposal was primitive in many instances. Cottage house lots were rarely large enough to support a conventional septic tank and a leach field plus a reserve leach field. Some were simply a punctured 55 gallon steel drum that then drained quickly into the ground. Mother Nature sustained this insult for only ten or twelve weeks a year, but as the years rolled by – new technologies and new lifestyles put new loads on the natural remediation processes. Better roads, more autos, longer vacations, and disposal garbage grinders all contributed to additional loading on these already inadequate septic systems.

The thin layer of white sand over a mat of roots and dead Spartina grass and marsh muck is not the ideal soil for aerobic digestion of human waste. Smells of anaerobic decomposition would come and go, and sometimes the wastewater would actually erupt on the ground around a cottage.

The beach communities limped along in part because there were no drinking water wells near these failing wastewater “systems”. Remember, potable water was piped in. Sanitarians knew how to correct the problems, but other forces were also in play. In Old Lyme our Registered Sanitarian, operating under the rules of the Connecticut State Health Code and inhibited by rules from the State Department of Environmental Protection, had few legal tools to combat pollution. One attempt was by stamping the land records with the words “Summer Use Only”, but after several years, a court found the procedure to be invalid.

As time went on, land values rose, and those summer cottages on postage stamp lots continued to be enlarged, and insulated, and heated, and occupied for longer and longer periods.

Concurrently, several other things were taking place. The State Legislature created a Department of Environmental Protection, and gave them a blank check for jurisdiction over sewage treatment plants. Also, they were granted power to regulate wastewater discharges of over 5000 gallons per day. The State Health Department retained its control over small flows, but they were restrained from any treatment except the passive septic tank-leach field arrangement. Furthermore, the DEP also assumed powers over what they called “areas of special concern” and thus claimed jurisdiction over a neighborhood. Also, they claimed jurisdiction over all wastewater treatment which employs modern technology. The Health Department must restrict itself to the passive septic tank-leach field treatment. Now both of our neighbor states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, permit technology which by aeration and circulation, a home septic system could accommodate greater loads. This may not be done in Connecticut according to the DEEP, even by a registered sanitarian whose work is supervised by a health director, according to the published Health Code of our State Health Department. This, it seems to me, is simply a turf war in Hartford for control and the desk in the corner office. Registered Sanitarians, in both the DEEP and the Connecticut State Health Department, have the same qualifications and must pass the same examinations.

I believe that the drive to sewerize in Old Lyme is mostly from people and organizations that have motives apart from economy and the environment but rather for power or money. They should recuse themselves from decision making, since their views are tainted.

Take note that several of the beach associations in Old Lyme are charted by the State Legislature, and the charters clearly state that these associations may, if they wish, control their wastewater. However, this control would be at their expense. This is not quite what sewer proponents are advocating. They seem to want these projects to be town-wide and not at their expense. Rather, they seem to expect the municipality, or the state or federal government, to expend tax revenues to correct the problems of their increasing usage of lots that were never intended for year-round occupancy.

I believe further that the DEEP is the fox in the henhouse, making and enforcing rules, with little or no supervision or oversight by the legislature. For example, the State Health Department publishes a health code, but the DEEP has no comparable document.

If the DEEP is to dump its treated effluent from sewage treatment plants into our streams and rivers, that water should be pristine drinking water quality, and if it is pristine, then why is it not replaced into our aquifers or our ground waters? Dilution is not the solution to pollution, and the DEEP is the culprit.

Letter from The Old Lyme Shellfish Commission

It has come to the attention of this Commission that sanitary wastewater treatment in plants sanctioned by the State DEEP are discharging less than potable fresh water into our rivers flowing eventually to salty Long Island Sound. The view of the DEEP seems to be based on their opinion that dilution is the solution to pollution. The Connecticut River is closed to recreational shell fishing because they neglect to tell us, that the treatment plants they supervise are the source of much of this pollution.

With the name they give themselves, it seems to be odd that they, of all people, should control the very sewage treatment plants that pollute these waters.

“Seems to be” in the previous paragraph is there because it is difficult to document the culprit. This Commission believes that the DEEP (formerly the DEP) is the fox in the henhouse. They spend public money, but the results of their effort, is far from transparent.

          Several years ago, one example came to our attention when an official of the DEP told Old Lyme representatives that a proposed sewage treatment plant in Old Saybrook would discharge treated water into the Connecticut River midway between the Amtrak and the Baldwin Bridges. He told us not to worry because “The discharge pipe would be fitted with a diffuser.” When asked what a “diffuser” was, he said, “So it doesn’t all come up in one place.”

 For another example, the screens on the discharge at a plant near Middletown clogged up, and the plant operators opened the discharge directly to the River, and raw human waste arrived by tidal flow at Point O’Woods in Old Lyme a few days later. In this instance, officials in Hartford had the unmitigated gall to say that this human waste originated in Point O’Woods where there are, and were then, no open sewers dumping raw sewage into nearby waters. None.

One reason why this has been going on is that most people don’t relish talking about human waste. Another reason is sewage discharges are often located in obscure places like the bottoms of rivers. We believe the data is all there but “not available

There is no denying that in heavily industrialized or densely populated urban areas, conventional septic tank – leach fields are not adequate for the load, but even here the DEEP is abusing both the environment and home owners on lots which are too small for conventional septic tank – leach field treatment. This is because of still another factor. The DEEP in this state is in a turf war with the Connecticut State Health Department. Here, the DEEP holds a monopoly on about all wastewater treatment, except for the old fashioned passive septic tank – leach field, presently the only wastewater treatment available to sanitarians who work under the guidance and rules of the State Health Department. The result of this situation is that the local Health Directors and local Sanitarians cannot avail themselves of modern, proven systems now in use in Rhode Island and in Massachusetts to digest all septic waste on a small house lot.

 So to win this turf war, the Connecticut DEEP resorts to another ploy. They don’t test the soil. They simply measure lot size and lump neighborhoods as those having houses too close together. By a formula that they don’t make public, they declare a lumped discharge of 5000 gallons per day from several sources, and they claim jurisdiction, whereas the State Health Department is limited to control only the individual smaller discharges. In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, such small individual discharges would get individual treatment with modern technology, thus avoiding the loss of fresh water to the ocean and the costs and hazards of sewage treatment plants and leaky sewers.

 So who loses when we have unnecessary sewers? First, the environment loses ground water. We exhaust the aquifer and cause dug wells to dry up. Taxpayers lose as we pay to move wastewater that could easily go back through leach fields into groundwater at no cost to the taxpayers. Instead, they dump partially treated water into the ocean.

What must be done to correct this situation? We must get the fox out of the henhouse. The DEEP should not be permitted to monitor itself. Data concerning sewage treatment plant discharges for both quantity and quality should be readily available for anyone to scrutinize. The use of alternative technology for sewage treatment should be made readily available to any registered sanitarian or health director, without any interference by the DEEP.

When sanitary waste water is sewerized and discharged into a river we are throwing away a valuable resource that could, and should be, recycled efficiently to improve our environment and save money too. Modern technology permits this, but the DEEP prohibits alternative technology for single home installations and hides the data which would indict them.

Old Lyme Wastewater

Years ago homes here discharged their wastewater into cesspools. A cesspool is a very primitive digester of septic waste. Cesspools work, but now as we use much more water for bathing, laundry, garbage disposal, dishwashing and flushing toilets, we had to improve the cesspool. Today it has morphed for most residences into a septic tank, compartmented, and connected to a leach field of perforated pipe that permits the water portion to re-enter the earth where digestion continues naturally. Solids that float in the septic tank (called scum) and those that sink (called sludge) accumulate in the septic tank and periodically they are pumped out for further treatment elsewhere. In Old Lyme, pump-outs are ordained to be performed not less frequently than once in seven years. My home system accumulated two inches of scum and thirteen inches of sludge in about twenty years with an average of five people in residence. Other septic systems in Old Lyme are pumped much more frequently.

The pumped out wastewater and solids were then taken to a municipal lagoon facility where aerobic decomposition and evaporation and slow seepage into the soil further reduced pathogens, nutrients and volume. The end product of these septic lagoons was then buried in landfills or incinerated. It is virtually harmless.

Over the course of this last half-century, the process was modified by technology so that by 2000 the pump out material was rendered inert and compacted in Old Lyme in a filter press resulting in a dry product that was mostly cellulose. The liquid that was extracted was then treated further in a municipal sewage plant. Outside of Connecticut, in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for instance, this liquid is often used to irrigate forest land, but in Connecticut the DEP insists on still more treatment before they discharge it into streams that flow eventually into Long Island Sound.

One might wonder why the DEP would insist on this wastewater treatment process in a sewage treatment plant and then dump the water in Long Island Sound, instead of injecting it back into upland forest soils or spray on forests to replenish our groundwater. I think it is because they know that their treatment often leaves a product still not clean. Amazing, because my septic tank and leach field are only about 100 feet from my dug well. Generations of people have been drinking this well water for at least 150 years, and all of us have been healthy. The sanitarians, registered and licensed by the Connecticut State Health Department, have never faulted my waste water treatment or my well water.

So one might ask why the DEP (or DEEP) wants studies to justify sewering of Old Lyme Septic Wastewater to New London for treatment, and then why would they dump that treated water into the Thames River and eventually to Long Island Sound?

I think I know. First thing for the reader to know is that in my college years I took courses in sewage and sewerage at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. These are the very same courses taken by Registered Sanitarians here in Connecticut. Here in Connecticut, I served as a Councilor to the Governor for Marine Resources, and in Old Lyme variously as Conservation Commissioner, WPCA Commissioner, Shellfish Commissioner and for ten years as a Selectman. I first moved to Old Lyme in 1960. At that time there was no DEP (now the DEEP). Parks and Forests, Fish and Game, and others were consolidated sometime around 1970 and septic waste management was split up. Discharges of more than 5000 gallons a day were assigned to the DEP and small residential units remained with the State Health Department, where the State Health Code governed.

The Health Code was, and still is, enforced by appointed Health Directors who usually were local medical doctors. Towns hired sanitarians who were formally educated in best practice before they were licensed as Registered Sanitarians (RS). Some of these people were employed by the DEP, with the very same education and the very same license (RS).

Town-employed Registered Sanitarians working through local town medical doctors use the State Health Code as their authority. They inspect restaurants, wells, and small septic systems as they were built and as they are operated. They monitor failures and supervise repairs and modifications. The system works. The Health Code works for small residences and it depends on strict zoning enforcement. The DEP was given statuary control over large discharges. They have another set of rules and these seem to change from time to time. There is, to my knowledge, no DEP equivalent to the State Health Code in print. All I can rely on to evaluate their goals is what filtered down to me in these past thirty or so years. Their primary initial task was with urban and industrial discharges, and sewers and treatment plants.

The first time I ran up against the DEP was when they told Old Saybrook that it was polluting the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound with improperly treated septic wastes. They would build a sewage treatment plant in Old Saybrook and eventually discharge treated wastes into the Connecticut River somewhere near the railroad bridge. This plant would also handle waste from Westbrook and perhaps Clinton. I was at that time the Old Lyme Shellfish Commission Chairman and by State law we had collected revenues from Connecticut River Oyster Harvesting Licenses amounting to several thousand dollars. By law, this money did not go into the General Fund of the Town of Old Lyme, but was to be used by our Commission for the improvement and protection of the resource and for education.

I went to see the point man for the DEP to learn about the planned discharge, since our oysters might be contaminated by their discharge. I learned that the effluent would go into the river “through a diffuser, so it wouldn’t all come up in the same place.” His exact words.

The Old Lyme Shellfish Commission paid the WLIS radio station in Old Saybrook several thousand dollars to broadcast messages urging the voters of Old Saybrook to reject this proposal at their referendum. And they did reject it. Then I heard from the State Election Board that I had violated a law, one that I didn’t know about, by spending municipal money to influence an election. Fortunately, someone else discovered that another law exempted me because that law was only effective after the date of the referendum was published, and someone else had neglected to publish that date.

Later it turned out that they really didn’t need a treatment plant, and now they are doing something else. But I learned how this State plan came into being. Old Saybrook town fathers heard that there was State grant money available for studies of ground-water pollution. Old Saybrook applied for the grant (and bear in mind this was for a study). Old Saybrook got the money and then they were told they were polluting. “But we haven’t even started the study,” they said. Not necessary, you accepted the grant so you have acknowledged you are polluting and we are here from the government to help you.

Here in Old Lyme there are State Chartered Beach Associations and some of the charters clearly state that they may, at their expense, install sewer service. As summer occupancy morphs into year round, and what was ten weeks of summer use becomes fifty two weeks, many of the systems, especially those buried in water and lacking leach fields, were getting help through the agency of “midnight plumbing” into streams like Sheffield Brook. Many of these houses had their property cards marked for “Summer Occupancy Only”, but somehow that provision has been overturned. Old Lyme Sanitarians have found and corrected nearly all these offending systems. As the owners continue to use or rent their summer cottages all year, the small lots on high water tables cannot accommodate these loads.

There are now several ways to correct this problem. They could sewerize their chartered beach associations land at their expense. The law permits this – at their expense. Or individuals could buy up nearby house lots to accommodate adequate septic systems at their expense. Or they might use modern technology at their expense, except that the Connecticut State DEP does not permit modern technology for these residential applications.

On an occasion when the Old Lyme Registered Sanitarian used such modern technology in full accordance with the State Health Department Health Code, “his Bible”, he was threatened by the DEP with revocation of his license to practice – which license was awarded to him by the State Health Department. Perhaps you want to that paragraph again?

Or they could get the Town of Old Lyme to foot the bill for their decision to build small inexpensive summer cottages sixty or seventy years ago on high water table, often on filled tide-marsh land, often on postage stamp sized lots inadequate in area for proper septic systems including adequate leach fields and leach field reserve areas. All at their own expense – unless the Town picks up the tab. Incidentally many of these summer cottages have gotten larger over the decades with porches closed in to form bedrooms and other modifications.

Or they could get the DEP to force the Town to sewerize at Town expense even though ground water tests by recognized engineering firms show that there is no general pollution and that with application of the State Health Code, individual problems can be corrected at the owner’s expense.

It should be noted that the Town of Old Lyme adopted by unanimous vote a policy of sewer avoidance several decades ago. This policy guided the Old Lyme WPCA for many years. It was crafted by the world class engineering firm, Dames and Moore and monitored by Nathan Jacobson Associates of Chester, Connecticut. The framework of this policy was established by none other than engineers and Registered Sanitarians of both the Connecticut DEP and the Connecticut Health Department.

Years later the DEP reversed itself and their representatives told us that what we were doing was all wrong and that we were polluting ourselves and also Long Island Sound.

In one written communication they said human waste was found in Long Island Sound off Point O’Woods about four miles east of the mouth of the Connecticut River. They blamed failing septic systems in Point O’Woods. They neglected to note that our Sanitarian found no such systems or discharges into Long Island Sound waters. Our investigation confirmed the waste and established that it came after heavy rains near Middletown on the Connecticut River caused a combined storm water – sanitary sewer to clog the screens on their treatment plant and that in turn forced the plant operators to open their valves and screens and discharge storm debris and human waste directly into the river. About two days later some of it got to Point O’Woods.

On another occasion, we were told that proof we were polluting was shown by the absence of migrating river herring in the Four Mile River. What they neglected to note, although it is shown on the topographical maps, is that this river has dams on it too high for these fish to jump and there are no fish ladders.

Also, they stated that the coliform counts of Four Mile River water were high and this was proof positive of pollution. Again they neglected to note that just upstream of Point O’Woods there was an active cow farm and wastes from these animals were generated and deposited nearby, constantly. Coliforms are found in the guts of both cows and people.

These lies from our State Government officials are but a small sample; but they were more than I could stomach and I quit my membership in the WPCA.

I conclude after fifty years of closely observing this Town, that consultants can be paid to opine whatever the client pays them to opine.

 

Sewers in Old Lyme are NOT Needed

Today, 10 October 2014 at about 11:50 AM I write now what I remember of what I said without notes at a Selectman’s meeting on 6 October 2014 held at 3:30 in the afternoon.

I was the third of four men who spoke during the Public Comment part of the Agenda. The other three were Todd Machnik, Gary Yuknat and Harold Thompson.

I stated that I have been a resident of Old Lyme for over 40 years, and a public servant to the Town for many of those years. I was even a Selectman for about 10 years. I do not support the proposed sewer project at the beaches.

I stated that too many of the people who are involved in this sewer project are involved because someone recruited them. I spoke to the responsibilities of the Sanitarians, who all receive the same education, have to pass the same exam, and the fact that they disagree on how to apply what they learned, depending if they are employed by the CT Department of Health or by the CT DEEP. What I said, in essence was that dealing with the DEP over the past forty years was frustrating because their employees with whom I tried to work were dishonest. I said “they lied”, and those were my exact words. I gave two examples of their lies; the first example was that after a failure at the treatment plant near Middletown, human waste was traced as it moved down the Connecticut River and east on our shore until it reached Stanhope Beach and the mouth of the Four Mile River where it polluted the area around Point O’Woods.

The DEP spokesman and the DEP Commissioner used this human waste to claim that POW was polluting and POW required sewerizing. The second example I gave was that the DEP went on to say that the absence of migratory fishes in the Four Mile River confirmed their charge. I responded that there are no migratory fishes going up the Four Mile River because there were several impoundments on that river that these fish could not get over or around. I pointed out that there were dams, shown on official maps to prove what I stated.

I concluded with a statement that I could fill a book with more of their lies.

Unintended Consequences

Once was, in the dear dead days beyond recall, periodic forest fires swept areas of Connecticut and the forest litter turned into alkaline ash and smoke.  This is, was, and will be, perfectly natural.

Today most forest fires are extinguished promptly and so leaf litter and dead wood accumulates.  Rain and melting snows move much of this litter, mostly acidic maple and oak fallen leaves to paved streets, and eventually to storm sewers.  Much ends up in lakes, streams, rivers and estuaries, but dams and impoundments are in the way.  They slow the flow.

Additionally, loads of fallen leaves which, traditionally, had been burned in autumn are not now burned, but too often they are dumped  (perhaps by the light of the moon) into moving water.  The people who do this are doing it to save money, avoiding air pollution, and saving us from global warming, and so they can feel good all over.

Concurrently, waterfront and waterview real estate brings a premium, and the long sloping lawn down to the water makes a property even more valuable.  Nothing now catches the leaf litter and extra fertilizer.

Also,  impounded water for recreation, power, and waterfront real estate encourages dams that then slow stream velocity and give suspended leaves more time to get water logged and to sink and pile up behind the impoundments.  Still another nail in the coffin.  Freshets no longer flush stream beds.  There is a cumulative effect on our environment.  Rivers, lakes, bays, estuaries and tidal ponds are overloaded with nutrients.  There is now too much for Mother Nature to digest.  There is now not enough oxygen to perform natural anaerobic digestion.

Mother Nature responds by natural anaerobic (without oxygen) digestion, a slow, smelly and poisonous process.  Most aquatic plants and animals are functional only in an oxygen system.  So they die or swim away if they can.  Tim Visel at the Sound School explains this in great detail.  What the passerby sees is commonly know as “black mayonnaise.”  This is a soft stinking accumulation on the bottoms of slow moving water of things that fire or oxygen-rich water would have mitigated.  “Dead” areas in Long Island Sound are also a result of anaeroebic conditions.

Yes, we know how to get rid of it but to make that happen, someone’s ox will get gored.  Will it by yours?

 

Dilemma

di·lem·ma n 1. a situation in which somebody must choose one of two or more unsatisfactory alternatives 2. in logic, a form of reasoning that, though valid, leads to two undesirable alternatives
Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Written April 2012

About forty years ago I became involved in Old Lyme Conservation and became founder of a commission that morphed in several that are still active today. Later, as a Selectman, I saw the need for better management of septic wastes. I monitored our primitive septic lagoons at the four Mile River Landfill and helped in the transformation of wastewater handling to the very effective process we have in Old Lyme today.

This led me and others to an awareness of ground water pollution mostly by septic waste and, as a Selectman, I engaged Dames and Moore as world class wastewater management consultants for the Town. They in turn after a few years suggested that Old Lyme retain Nathan Jacobson of Chester, CT, to advise us and to perform or supervise groundwater tests. In part this was done to protect the Town from the urbanization and water loss that sewerizing would bring on.

We, the Town, studied the problem and, with help from the newly formed State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the long-established State Department of Health (that publishes the State Health Code and supervises the Health Directors and Sanitarians), we established a Town WPCA and by ordinance we made into policy the philosophy of sewer avoidance.

A turf war between the State DEP and the State Department of Health made our work difficult. They don’t even agree on a definition of pollution. Also, a split authority between Chartered Beach Associations and Town Government raised the issue of control at the local level. The DEP sided with a Beach Association and conspired with them to sewerize Point O’ Woods, a chartered Association, to pipe septic wastewater to a treatment plant in New London. To do this, they told lies about the status of wastewater quality in Point O’ Woods and endorsed the results of an illegal referendum. For one of many examples, they claimed that anadromous fishes were prevented, by pollution from household septic wastewater, from coming up the nearby Four Mile River. In point of fact, that river is well populated with resident fishes but there are three dams without fish ladders that restrict the passage of most catadromous and anadromous fishes. This is but one example of a series for untruths with which the DEP determined that Point O’ Woods would be sewered, and it was.

The same group of DEP employees who previously advised Old Lyme to embrace a Sewer Avoidance Ordinance succeeded in circumventing what they helped us to establish. We experienced twenty years of roadblocks to achieving environmental health with sewer avoidance using proven methods.

My dilemma is that I cannot reconcile the DEP previous history of dishonesty with their recent offer to help us correct the problems of non-conforming systems, some of which may, in fact, be contributing to high nitrate levels in certain areas where cottages are located on very small lots.

I have my doubts as to whether as a sworn commissioner of Old Lyme I can sit at the same table with people who I cannot trust with the truth. I spoke with my Baptist Pastor Michael Crane. He thought I should declare my doubts but stay on the Board since my first obligation is to Old Lyme.

a·nad·ro·mous adj Used to describe fish such as salmon and shad that return from the sea to the rivers where they were born in order to breed.
ca·tad·ro·mous adj Used to describe fish that spend most of their lives in fresh water but migrate to salt water to breed, as eels do.

Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Sewer Avoidance in Old Lyme Connecticut

The Town of Old Lyme, Connecticut has an established Sewer Avoidance Program.  It is a proven fact, established in Rhode Island and in Massachusetts, that with nothing more than technology already approved and in use in these and other nearby states, human septic waste can be, and is presently, treated in situ.  All this without the need for municipal sewage treatment plants discharging sometimes less than potable products into natural waters to eventually digest or dilute these wastes elsewhere.

Wastewater is a mineral resource that should be recycled.  Old Lyme has been doing just that for 300 years.

Arguments to the contrary are tied to urban situations or industries.  Here in Old Lyme, we have the experience of sanitarians who answer to the Connecticut Health Code, rather than to arbitrary rules created and enforced by the Connecticut DEEP.  Combined sewers, that carry both storm runoff and sanitary waste, also contribute to the problem of waste treatment in urban areas of high population density, but here in Old Lyme there is no industry and little urban crowding.

Virtually every attempt by Old Lyme to mitigate the calculated pollution here has been rebuffed by the DEP or the DEEP, and this calculated pollution has not been demonstrated by any scientific test data.