New Jersey receives record 679 requests for water infrastructure improvement projects

(UC) — The state of New Jersey has received a total of 679 requests totaling nearly $7 billion for necessary water quality improvements and other public-health protection projects, according to its Water Infrastructure Improvement Plan that was released last week.

The plan, released by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), outlined upgrades to the drinking water systems to better protect public health and improve the delivery of reliable water to residents and businesses, as well as upgrades to wastewater treatment systems that would protect and improve the quality of New Jersey’s waterways.

“Modernizing New Jersey’s water infrastructure is critical to protecting public health, supporting economic development, and preserving and improving our environment,” said Commissioner LaTourette. “DEP received an overwhelming response during the development of this fiscal year’s Intended Use Plans given our communities’ deep needs for water infrastructure improvements, and we pledge to work closely with applicants to wisely leverage state and federal resources, including the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.”

Not all projects will be funded. They are ranked according to the state’s list of priorities that include emergency projects that threaten public health, lead service lines, contaminants of emerging concern, and uncovered drinking water reservoirs that violate regulations.

Underserved communities are also a high priority, consistent with the environmental-justice goals of the Murphy administration, the DEP said.

The federal government, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has provided $169 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to the DEP as the first of five allotments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. For the current round, New Jersey receives:

  • $73.3 million for any eligible Clean Water State Revolving Fund project
  • $30.6 million for any eligible Drinking Water State Revolving Fund project
  • $48.3 million to address drinking water lead service line replacements
  • $12.9 million to address contaminants of emerging concern, such as PFAS in drinking water
  • $3.8 million to address contaminants of emerging concern in wastewater.

The DEP and the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank) will work closely on innovative funding to maximize the leveraging of federal and state funds to provide low-interest but high-impact options for local communities and utilities to meet their drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater infrastructure needs.



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