The New Jersey Legislature broke for the summer delivering a multitude of water-related bills to Governor Murphy, all of which advance the goals of Jersey Water Works. The passage of these bills represents a significant commitment to upgrading New Jersey’s water infrastructure, ensuring clean drinking water, and protecting our waterways.
Governor Murphy signed two important bills earlier this summer that both address lead in drinking water:
In addition, the final FY22 budget included the following provisions for water infrastructure funding:
State Revolving Fund
Continues the $60m appropriation to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds that was newly initiated in FY2021 to support safe and modern water projects statewide, including lead service line replacements.
Lead Paint Remediation
Continues the total appropriation of $10m for this purpose in two equal pieces: $5m for Single Family Home Lead Hazard Remediation Fund and $5m for a Lead Safe Home Renovation Pilot Program. An additional $10m is newly appropriated from federal American Rescue Plan funds for Home Based Paint Remediation.
Lead Testing for Schools
Appropriates $5m to reimburse school districts for the cost of testing lead in drinking water during the 2021-2022 school year.
Water Accountability Municipal Compliance
An appropriation of $5m is furnished to help administer the newly enacted Water Quality Accountability Act, including cybersecurity aspects.
Public Access Lake Stormwater Management Grants
Appropriates $10m from the federal American Rescue Plan for this purpose, with special emphasis on larger lakes such as Lake Greenwood and Lake Hopatcong.
Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) – Project Selection Process
To determine the distribution of federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds received by the state, the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office (GDRC) will consider funding applications, most of which will also require approval from the Joint Budget Oversight Committee. (The GDRC may distribute $200m at its discretion in individual allocations not to exceed $10m.) Water and sewer projects and lead hazards are eligible. Other specific ARP appropriations include:
This legislation advances the goals shared by Jersey Water Works and demonstrates the power of collaboration. Jersey Water Works does not take positions on specific bills or executive actions, but believes deeply in the power of education, cross sector problem solving, and leadership to ensure the transformation of the water infrastructure sector. JWW committees are encouraged to:
Many individual JWW members lobby, but do so apart from their affiliation with the collaborative.