LOW COST FINANCING BOOSTS CLEAN WATER PROTECTION
IN NEW JERSEY
Trenton Water Works Reaps Benefits for the City
(04/109) Trenton -- The New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Environmental
Infrastructure Trust (EIT) today announced funding for the
City of Trenton to clean and upgrade water mains that supply
drinking water to over 250,000 people in the Trenton area.
This year, DEP and EIT are awarding nearly $300 million
in the form of low interest loans to communities for projects
that restore and protect New Jersey's drinking water supplies.
"Cities and towns need help in meeting tough standards
to protect New Jersey's rivers and beaches," said DEP
Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "Targeted reforms
to DEP's financing programs and new resources from the Environmental
Infrastructure Trust are accelerating needed clean water
infrastructure while easing the burden on taxpayers and
The City of Trenton has received a 13 million dollar EIT
loan to clean, reline and replace almost 30 miles of water
mains in the City of Trenton and Hamilton Township. The
purpose of the project is to increase water pressure and
satisfy fire protection demands. Trenton's water supply
system consists of over 620 miles of water mains with 61,000
service connections, supplying nearly 29 million gallons
of potable water per day to Trenton and surrounding areas.
The project is not expected to cause major interference
with traffic flows.
"These low interest loans make possible the very kinds
of timely upgrades that came into play just last weekend,
when the Delaware River sent more than 20 times the normal
flow of water into our stormwater drainage system,"
said Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer. "We pay constant
attention to the improvement of our infrastructure and the
quality of our water, and we hold the line on rates, so
that our water service costs customers less than any service
in this region. The Environmental Infrastructure Trust and
DEP are valued partners in this critically important effort."
Under the program, each borrower receives two loans. One
loan is from the DEP at 0 percent interest. The other part
of the loan is from bonds issued by the AAA-rated EIT. Through
this innovative partnership, borrowers can receive loans
at half the current market rate and can better finance much
needed infrastructure improvements in their communities.
"Our program has provided financing of over 2 billion
dollars to 495 projects across New Jersey," said EIT
Chairman Robert Briant. "This investment has been instrumental
in the improvement of water quality in our state; however,
we know that there is much more work to be done. Our goal
is for every municipality in our state to do as Trenton
is doing and take advantage of a wonderful loan interest
rate program for water quality improvement, storm water
management, the purchase of open space, Brownfields redevelopment
and drinking water supply improvements."
The DEP and the EIT in partnership are responsible for
a program that provides 20-year low interest loans for projects
that will protect water resources and drinking water supplies.
In an effort to promote redevelopment of urban areas and
stop sprawl, DEP and EIT have improved the loan program
even further, initiating "Smart Growth Project"
loans that provide loans at one-quarter of the market rate
for projects that correct combined sewer overflows, purchase
open space or are in targeted urban areas.
Under EIT's interim loan program, eligible projects with
pre-award approval can receive a zero percent interim loan
for up to one year until the next bond sale which will then
remove the interim loan and replace it with a long term
loan less than then the current market rate. Under this
program, eligible borrowers who are prepared to move forward
with a project can get started prior to receiving the award.
The DEP and the EIT also provide low interest loans to
purchase open space for the protection of critical water
resources and drinking water aquifers.
For more information about EIT and its financing programs,
visit EIT's website at: http://www.njeit.org/index2.html