NJ legislators concerned about brown plume in Barnegat Bay

 A silt plume in the Barnegat Bay off Seaside Park on Aug. 5, 2015. (Image courtesy of Save Barnegat Bay)

A silt plume in the Barnegat Bay off Seaside Park on Aug. 5, 2015. (Image courtesy of Save Barnegat Bay)

New Jersey lawmakers are concerned over potential health risks posed by a giant brown silt plume that was released into Barnegat Bay last week.

But a state official says the plume doesn’t pose any problems for the public.

     NJDOT: Silt plume in Barnegat Bay off Seaside Park unusual but water’s safe

The plume was spotted Wednesday by a drone from Seaside Park’s public works department. It spanned more than six blocks just south of the Mathis-Tunney Bridge in Seaside Heights.

State Transportation Department Commissioner Jamie Fox said Tuesday that the plume was a combination of silt built up in a pump station and silt from the bay floor.

But Senate and Assembly environment committees wonder whether a flood abatement project is to blame.

The pumping station is one of nine along Route 35 from Bay Head to Seaside Park. The pumps are part of a $200 million infrastructure upgrade stemming from the damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

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