Tuesday, October 23, 2007 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
NJ Department of Environmental Protection - Public Hearing Room
401 East State Street, Trenton, NJ
The Clean Water Council of New Jersey seeks public testimony on an issue critical to both environmental protection and economic vitality – water infrastructure objectives, needs, financing and management. Water supply, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure are all being considered. The Council has formulated eight questions for public consideration and response. Based upon the testimony at this hearing, the Council will develop a set of recommendations for the NJDEP Commissioner. Therefore, the members seek comments from interested persons so that they can recommend improvements to New Jersey’s approach to water infrastructure issues.
Water Infrastructure Objectives
What social, economic, environmental benefits do we want from New Jersey’s water infrastructure, now and into the future, and what desired benefits are we not seeing now? What emerging issues should be addressed? Is New Jersey's water infrastructure adequate to support desired growth, including urban revitalization? If not, what improvements are needed and where? What are the risks to New Jersey’s future of not achieving or maintaining these benefits?
What critical information do we need, but don’t have, to understand the status, trends, benefits and costs of water infrastructure performance and asset management?
What impact is our existing infrastructure situation having upon energy utilization, smart growth, and economic viability? What impact is our infrastructure having upon water quality, water resources and public health?
What performance or service standards are appropriate for water infrastructure? Will meeting these standards require significant changes in how we approach or perceive infrastructure needs?
How do we ensure proper asset management over time, so that present practices are cost effective and do not impose unsupportable burdens on future users or generations? What future costs are associated with delayed decision making on infrastructure repairs?
What are the greatest current or projected shortfalls in water infrastructure capacity and benefits, and why? If improvements are required to existing infrastructure, what are the costs and how can they be financed?
Competition for funding is inevitable. What water infrastructure priorities should exist, and why?
Paying for Infrastructure
What are the most appropriate, equitable and viable methods for funding water infrastructure needs? How should the public’s willingness to pay and ability to pay be addressed? Are the funding mechanisms appropriate to the infrastructure agencies we have, and if not what other options should be considered? If you were to focus on the single most important issue affecting New Jersey's water resources in the near future, what would it be?