New Jersey S2815: Drinking water, wastewater infrastructure resiliency program; NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT)
In August 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie authorized $1.28 billion in state financing for critical improvements to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the state under S2815. The funding includes $355 million that will protect and provide resiliency to infrastructure directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The bipartisan supported legislation establishes a three year program that could allocate up to $5 billion, not only to repair the plants, but also to harden them against future extreme weather events.
The Sandy-related projects to be financed in the initial round of funding include resiliency measures such as construction of flood walls to protect facilities, relocation of infrastructure to safer ground, restoration of damaged facilities, emergency generators and even portable pumping stations that can be removed before a storm hits and be put back afterward.
This legislation provides no-cost and low-cost loans through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT), an independent state financing agency, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In many cases, operators are using NJEIT’s financing program for bridge loans and access to immediate funding pending disaster reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
According to statistics from the related DEP press release, Sandy caused an estimated $2.6 billion in damages to wastewater and drinking water infrastructure across the state.
Nearly 100 wastewater treatment plants serving some 3.5 million people in all 21 counties reported impacts from Sandy. The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC), which serves 1.4 million people, was completely shut down by major flooding of its treatment plant. The Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA), serving 797,000 people, lost three pump stations, causing significant discharges to Raritan Bay.
In addition, 427 of 604 community water supply systems lost power. Of these, 70 were seriously affected by prolonged power loss. Thirty-five systems serving more than 360,000 people were subject to boil water advisories due to concerns about contamination of their supplies.
Highlights of Sandy-related projects funded by S2815 include:
- $96 million for replacement and protection of the MCUA’s Sayreville and Edison pump stations
- $42.8 million for restoration and mitigation of buildings and facilities at the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority’s wastewater treatment plant in Union Beach
- $31.5 million for raising the existing floodwall protecting the New Jersey American Raritan Millstone water treatment plant
- $11.7 million for construction of a new wet weather pump station for Hoboken as part of the North Hudson Regional Sewerage Authority wastewater system
- $10.6 million for rehabilitation of the PVSC’s Administration Building on Wilson Avenue in Newark
- Construction of a 1.4-megawatt combined heat and power system fueled by fats and grease to provide a reliable power source for the Bergen County Utilities Authority.
Publication Date: August 8, 2013
- State of New Jersey
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
- Funding program