U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Takes South Mountain Dam and Retention Basin Proposal Off the Table

July 19, 2014 at 11:08 PM

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The United States Army Corps of Engineers has taken the South Mountain Reservation Dam-Detention Basin for Rahway Flood Abatement off the table after a series of public meetings, comments, and a Department of Environmental Protection review of the plan.

On July 17, John Moyle of the New Jersey Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Control, recommended that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers consider "more economically feasible and less environmentally destructive" flood options be pursued for the Rahway River Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study as the original plan for an 80-foot dam and 80-acre detention basin at the heart of South Mountain reservation would no longer be considered.

Moyle recommended that "Alternative 4," (Channel improvement with modifications to Orange Reservoir outlet pipes) and "Alternative 7A," (10 year non-structural meaures) be undertaken.

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South Mountain Conservancy thanked everyone who opposed this "misdirected flood abatement option, "and said they "hope to work with the corps and Mayor's Council to ensure that further study is funded so optimal solutions can be implemented to reduce flooding in Millburn, Cranford, and other towns."

"The South Mountain Conservancy is a volunteer non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation dedicated to advocacy and stewarship for Essex County’s 2,110-acre South Mountain Reservation. SMC helps to protect, preserve, and improve the park's ecology and infrastructure through the volunteer efforts of dozens of individuals and community groups.  Founded in March 2000, it works in concert with the Essex County Department of Parks by providing ongoing assessments of the Reservation and helping plan and manage restoration projects.  For more information about joining and supporting the SMC, visit, e-mail, or leave a message at 844-SOM-OCON."

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