NEW JERSEY – In the rolling hills of northern New Jersey sits the Boonton Reservoir. Though located more than 25 miles west of Jersey City, the 700-acre reservoir serves as the primary source of drinking water to New Jersey’s second-most populous city as well as more than 1 million additional residents in Union and Hudson counties.
Along the reservoir’s scenic shores lies Jersey Central Power & Light’s (JCP&L) Boonton service center, one of the busiest line shops in the electric company’s service territory. In a proactive effort to help protect the reservoir and wildlife that inhabit the surrounding areas, JCP&L has built a new storage facility at the site to help prevent materials used in the shop’s operation from inadvertently reaching the water.
At the Boonton service center, equipment is staged for outage restoration and regular maintenance, including power poles, wire and transformers. Among the equipment managed by service centers like Boonton are significant quantities of oils and fuels, including transformer di-electric oil, diesel, gasoline and hydraulic fluids.
Discreetly tucked away from a 7.7-mile educational hiking trail that surrounds the reservoir, the new 30-by-40-foot structure is designed to store potentially leaking transformers and containment bins, contain any oil discharges from oil-filled electrical equipment, store spill abatement supplies and provide a covered work area for pumping out oil-filled transformers that have been removed from the distribution grid.
“Whether its operation of a large substation, a power line rebuild project or something as simple as day-to-day maintenance of equipment, we are focused on protecting the environment as part of every project,” said John Greco, senior environmental coordinator at FirstEnergy, parent company of JCP&L. “Construction of the storage facility reflects our core value of environmental stewardship by helping to ensure stormwater runoff from paved parking and storage areas for oil-filled equipment does not impact the reservoir’s water quality. The facility protects a safe source of drinking water and helps preserve the continued beauty of the surrounding area for the public to enjoy.”
JCP&L has been recognized several times for its environmental initiatives. In addition to being the first and only electric utility named to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Sustainable Business Registry, the company has also received the NJ DEP’s Certificate of Innovation in Sustainability and an Environmental Leadership Award from The Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) and COMMERCE Magazine.
For more on FirstEnergy’s environmental policies and practices, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/environmental.