DEP LOAN PACKAGE CREATES GREEN JOBS, FUNDS MAJOR
STORMWATER CONTROL PROJECT FOR MONMOUTH PARK
(09/P18) TRENTON - A $21.5 million Department of Environmental Protection low-interest loan package will create green jobs by funding a project to prevent manure-tainted stormwater from fouling a creek adjacent to Monmouth Park, DEP Acting Commissioner Mark N. Mauriello announced today.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which runs the Oceanport horse racing park, will use the loans to construct a stormwater collection and treatment system and for related strategies to significantly reduce contamination of Branchport Creek, a tributary of the Shrewsbury River.
“These loans place Monmouth Park on track toward good stewardship of its surrounding environment and will spur economic recovery by creating many good-paying jobs in construction- and engineering-related fields,” Commissioner Mauriello said during a news conference at the park. “This project is like hitting the daily double - with all bets placed on workers and the environment.”
The funding is made possible by a DEP economic stimulus initiative authorized by Governor Jon S. Corzine, who has made creation of green jobs a key piece of his economic recovery plan for New Jersey. The initiative authorizes the DEP to boost the percentage of the loan package available at zero interest from 50 percent to 75 percent, resulting in an overall lower interest rate for the project.
“On behalf of Chairman Carl Goldberg and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority management who have worked so tirelessly to achieve this long-term solution, we want to thank Commissioner Mauriello for being here today to announce this huge step forward in the stormwater runoff remediation plan for Monmouth Park,” said Dennis Robinson, President and Chief Operating Officer for the Authority. “This is a great day for the people of Oceanport, Monmouth County and the state of New Jersey.”
As the public sponsor of the project, the borough of Oceanport will receive the loans and transfer the money to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The DEP has authorized Oceanport to begin advertising for bids as of Sept. 22. The DEP has approved permits for the project.
Manure collects around horse training areas, feed lots, barns, manure storage facilities and horse-washing stations. Monmouth Park’s outdated and inefficient stormwater collection system will be modernized to prevent contaminated stormwater in these areas from entering the creek.
A collection and pumping system will be built to move contaminated stormwater to a large, vegetated detention basin. A sewer main at this basin will convey the water to the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority for treatment. This water will be released from the basin as the authority is able to treat it.
In addition, the track’s infield area will be converted to a wetlands area to act as large, natural filter for stormwater. Rain gutters and drainage systems will be installed and upgraded to divert precipitation off roofs. This water will be discharged directly into the creek without ever coming into contact with manure and other contaminants on the ground.
The low-interest loan package is a blend of zero-interest loans from a DEP revolving loan program for water infrastructure improvement projects and market-rate loans from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, a state authority that funds water quality improvement projects. The DEP revolving loan program is providing $16 million in zero-interest loans; the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust is providing $5.5 million as market-rate loans.