TRENTON, NJ — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Sept. 6 that it has awarded nearly $84.5 million to New Jersey to help finance water infrastructure projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will primarily be used to upgrade wastewater and drinking water systems throughout the state.
“Working with our state and local partners to ensure our communities have affordable access to clean drinking water remains a critical priority for EPA,” EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez said in a press release. “We are pleased to provide significant funding as part of our overall efforts to help New Jersey meet its critical water infrastructure needs.”
EPA awarded $65,589,000 to the New Jersey Clean Water State Revolving Fund program and $18,957,000 to the New Jersey Drinking Water Revolving Fund program. These two programs are administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and its financing program, the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank.
These awards, plus a 20-percent state match and repayments from prior CWSRF and DWSRF loans, combined with interest earnings and bond issuances, will enable the financing of up to approximately $450 million of clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects in New Jersey.
Based on estimates from the U.S. Water Alliance, New Jersey’s CWSRF and DWSRF programs have the potential to create approximately 7,000 jobs.
The CWSRF program provides low-interest loans and principal forgiveness for the construction of water quality protection infrastructure projects to correct combined sewer overflows, to make improvements to wastewater treatment systems and to control pollution from stormwater runoff, which, in turn, help to protect New Jersey’s lakes, rivers and the Atlantic Ocean.
Examples of the types of projects on the state’s CWSRF Intended Use Plan are:
- $18.9 million to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission for rehabilitation of concrete and protective coatings on 12 secondary treatment clarifiers at its sewage treatment facility;
- $360,245 to the Raritan Borough to repair or replace decaying sewer pipes that are contributing to raw sewage overflows and adversely impacting the Raritan River; and
- $6.6 million to the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority to reduce combined sewer overflows by installing 10 new rain gardens in the City of Camden and replacing deteriorating combined sewer pipes.
The DWSRF program provides low-interest loans and principal forgiveness for the construction of drinking water infrastructure projects and for the administration of small system technical assistance, source water protection, capacity development and operator certification. The DWSRF program will protect people’s health by reducing exposure to contaminants in drinking water.
Examples of the types of projects on the state’s DWSRF Intended Use Plan are:
- $7.4 million to the Winslow Township to add radium removal at two existing wells;
- $62.7 million to the city of Newark to construct a protective cover for the Cedar Grove Reservoir; and
- $3.9 million to the East Orange Water Commission to replace 15 water mains on Garden State Parkway bridges.
Since 1989, the EPA has awarded $2.6 billion to New Jersey through these two programs, which, along with the other program funds, has enabled New Jersey to finance $6.8 billion in projects.