“The bills I am signing today will fund critical projects that protect our ground and surface water resources, ensure the safety of drinking water supplies, and enable responsible and sustainable economic development vital to New Jersey’s ecological future.”
Governor Christie signed A-4055, A-4056 and A-4057 today in Barnegat Township, part of the Barnegat Bay watershed that is the focus of the Governor’s 10-Point Comprehensive Barnegat Bay Restoration Plan. Included in the legislation is the authorization of approximately $16 million in grant-like funding for projects that will help protect, maintain and improve the water quality of Barnegat Bay, with $1 million available to county and local governments to purchase stormwater maintenance equipment to help eliminate pollutants that could end up in the Bay.
“Controlling pollution and providing safe, abundant drinking water requires significant capital investment," said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin. "Environmental infrastructure is costly to build and maintain, and EIT's financing program helps keep costs to the public as low as possible; since its inception EIT has saved New Jerseyans more than $2.1 billion.”
"The Governor's signing of these bills that include money for the repair, restoration, and remediation of New Jersey stormwater systems is most welcome – especially the focus on Barnegat Bay," said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. "These funds are a meaningful, near-term step that will help reduce litter, sewage, and nutrient pollution to our waterways as well as create much needed jobs," Zipf added.
The Barnegat Bay watershed is targeted this year for EIT funding for stormwater runoff mitigation projects to lessen the impacts of pollutants that flow from lawns and streets into the Bay. The DEP has developed a project ranking system for some 2,500 stormwater basins and facilities in the region, and has earmarked basins most likely to have the greatest nutrient removal potential.
Included are a total of 25 Barnegat Bay projects proposed by Ocean County, Barnegat Township, Berkeley Township, Howell, Jackson, Lacey Township, Manchester Township, Toms River, and Stafford Township. Some of the highest ranked projects are eligible for 100 percent loan forgiveness, while other projects can receive a blended finance package, including low-cost loans.
More than 170 applications from cities, towns, counties, authorities, utilities and private associations across the state already are being considered for much-needed money for next fiscal year for clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects, in a program that dates to 1985 and already has financed more than 900 projects totaling $5.6 billion. Successful applicants can get zero-and low-interest loans, at one-quarter or one-half the market rate, with no bond insurance required, no arbitrage concerns and no wait for funding or interest payments during construction, among other benefits.
The available money for all of the projects statewide comes from a program administered in part by the EIT, which is an independent State financing authority. It provides loans to county and local governments for construction of wastewater treatment facilities, sludge management systems, sewer overflow, stormwater projects and non-point source pollution management projects. It also offers loans to publicly and privately owned drinking water systems for the construction or upgrade of drinking water facilities, transmission and distribution systems, storage facilities, and source development.
Funds are made available under the federal Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts and various State bond acts. The program provides zero percent interest rate loans to local government units from the State DEP for up to 75 percent of the allowable project costs, and a market rate loan from the Trust for the remaining allowable costs.
Primary sponsors of A-4055 include: Assemblymembers Benson, DeAngelo, Johnson, Vanieri-Huttle, Moriarty, Gusciora, Rumpf and Holzapfel
Primary sponsors of A-4066 include: Assemblymembers Mainor, Wagner, Lampitt, Gusciora and Jasey.
Primary sponsors of A-4057 include: Assemblymembers Albano, Milam, Stender, Green, Cryan, Wolfe and Gove.
For a list of potential projects visit www.njeit.org/publications.htm.
More on the Governor’s Comprehensive Barnegat Bay Plan can be found at