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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 5, 2011

Contact: Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994 DEP
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795 DEP
Mary Goepfert (609) 963-6818 NJ OEM

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $48.3 MILLION AWARDED BY FEMA FOR NJ FLOOD PROTECTION PROJECTS, INCLUDING PASSAIC RIVER BASIN
State Hazard Mitigation Plan Receives FEMA Approval

(11/P80) TRENTON -The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and Department of Environmental Protection announced today that $48.3 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds have been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for state, county and local flood protection projects.

The money will be used for property acquisitions, property elevations and public works projects in Central, Coastal and Northern New Jersey, including the flood-prone Passaic River Basin. The $48.3 million in grants represents nearly double the total amount received in the fourteen years prior to 2009.

"While this funding will help deal with flooding statewide, it will especially target properties in the Passaic River Basin that are repeatedly flooded, focusing on providing relief to residents of Passaic, Morris and Bergen counties who have constant worries of having their lives and livelihoods disrupted by flooding,'' said New Jersey DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, who chairs Governor Christie's Passaic River Flood Advisory Commission. "We will be able to leverage this federal money with State Blue Acres dollars to help move families out of harm's way.''

"Increasing the number of disaster-resistant communities in New Jersey is one of our highest priorities," said State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes, Director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.

"Mitigation planning is unique in that it takes the long view toward hazard management. We are working with New Jersey communities statewide to keep residents out of harm's way through voluntary property acquisitions, returning land use to open space or recreational areas, retrofitting or elevating homes, and structural controls," Fuentes said. "We also urge all New Jersey property owners to consider their situation in terms of flood insurance."

Hazard Mitigation is the only phase of the disaster management process specifically dedicated to breaking the cycle of damage, reconstruction and repeated losses. The FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant program consists of 5 grant funding sources: Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA), Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL), Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

The following flood mitigation projects have been approved:

Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
Wayne Township, 28 acquisitions $ 3,999,980.00
Ocean Township, 32-structure acquisition $ 4,461,499.00
Nutley Township, 1 acquisition $ 213,625.00
Lambertville City, Ely Creek project $ 194,467.00
Neptune City, Valve/Bulkhead project $ 573,569.00
   
Repetitive Flood Claims Program
Little Falls Township, 5 Elevations $ 364,770.00
Township of Nutley, 2 acquisitions $ 1,664,000.00
   
Pre Disaster Mitigation Grant Program
City of Trenton, Trenton Water Works, floodproofing, acquisition $ 500,000.00
County of Essex, Mill Street Bridge retrofit $ 500,000.00
City of Trenton, acquisition, Assunpink Creek Warehouse $ 300,000.00
Township of Neptune, Outfall Valve and Bulkhead project $ 677,922.00
NJ Department of Environmental Protection Mines Plan Study $ 356,089.00
   
Severe Repetitive Loss Program
Sea Bright, 1 elevation $ 241,000.00
Passaic River Basin, 8 Acquisitions $ 3,071,000.00
Lincoln Park, 15 Acquisitions $ 4,081,260.00
Little Falls Township, 34 Acquisitions $ 6,636,800.00
Wayne Township, 77 Acquisitions $ 20,501,200.00

Superintendent Fuentes also announced FEMA's approval of the 2011 New Jersey State Hazard Mitigation Plan. The approval enables the State to continue its future eligibility to receive FEMA disaster and hazard mitigation assistance for the residents of the state through 2014.

Floods have been and continue to be the most frequent, destructive, and costly natural hazard facing New Jersey. The large majority of the State's damage reported for major disasters is associated with floods. In February, the Passaic River Flood Advisory Commission unveiled a 15-point plan to reduce flooding and minimize the impacts of floods in the Passaic River Basin in Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. Recommendations included buying flood-prone properties and elevating homes in flood areas.

For more information about reducing risk from floods, visit:
www.ready.nj.gov and www.floodsmart.gov.

NJ State Hazard Mitigation Plan: http://www.ready.nj.gov/programs/mitigation_plan2011.html

To read Governor Christie's Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission report, visit:
http://www.nj.gov/dep/passaicriver/docs/passaic-report201101.pdf


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