CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION BREAKS GROUND ON $28 MILLION INFRASTRUCTURE RESTORATION AND RESILIENCY PROJECT AT BAYSHORE REGIONAL SEWERAGE AUTHORITY
NJEIT-FUNDED PROJECT TO REPAIR AND PROTECT SANDY-DAMAGED WASTEWATER SYSTEM
(15/P45) TRENTON – A $28 million project to rebuild Superstorm Sandy-damaged facilities at the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA) in Union Beach broke ground today. The project is part of the Christie Administration’s continued commitment to provide resiliency to the state’s water and wastewater infrastructure, which was directly impacted by the 2012 storm, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced.
The project, which will see reconstruction with added resiliency of the authority’ main incinerator, pump stations and other buildings.
“Superstorm Sandy severely impacted our sewer and wastewater infrastructure and cast a light on the vulnerabilities of the state’s wastewater systems during major storm events,” Commissioner Martin said. “This project will ensure the viability and resiliency of this wastewater facility during future storms for the protection of public health and the environment in the Bayshore region.”
The project is being financed through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT), an independent financing authority for the state. BRSA obtained financial assistance from NJEIT’s Statewide Assistance Infrastructure Loan (SAIL) program. SAIL provides operators of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure with low-interest, short-term bridge loans in advance of federal disaster aid, allowing work on critical projects to move forward by mitigating cash flow challenges that communities might face immediately following a disaster.
Through the SAIL program, water systems like BRSA are able to begin critical infrastructure projects earlier, with less financial stress and with the added guidance that NJEIT provides to navigate the complex compliance requirements that come with receiving federal funding.
“It has been a long journey,” said BRSA Executive Director Bob Fischer. “The funding bridge that NJEIT and DEP have provided will enable the BRSA to continue uninterrupted to complete the storm recovery and protect against storms of greater intensity and size than Sandy.”
BRSA owns and operates a wastewater collection and treatment system that conveys an average of eight million gallons of wastewater per day from eight separate municipalities Aberdeen, Hazlet, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Matawan, Union Beach and the Morganville section of Marlboro representing a combined current service population of 83,000.
Superstorm Sandy inundated the plant with sea water from Raritan Bay, causing many critical buildings to flood, including those with underground system components. Many of these components required immediate repair and replacement to prevent an overflow of sewage.
The $28 million project is broken down into three phases including restoration of equipment and buildings, flood-proofing structures, and elevation of equipment and other mitigation measures:
- The repair and restoration of BRSA’s primary incinerator, which has been offline since Superstorm Sandy. In the interim, BRSA has used a back-up incinerator for sludge burning operations. There are only seven such incinerators in the state.
- The primary incinerator will receive new dewatering equipment and air emissions control equipment upgrades to meet compliance standards for EPA’s 2016 regulations for sewage sludge incinerators. Work will also take place to protect the two incinerator buildings from future flooding.
- The restoration of BRSA’s main and secondary pump stations and the return sludge building.
- The restoration of BRSA’s administration and laboratory buildings, odor and scrubbers control building, three sludge pump stations and a fire water pump station.
All construction work is scheduled to be completed by September 2016.
Superstorm Sandy caused an estimated $2.6 billion in damage to drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure across the state. Specifically, the storm damaged or knocked out power to more than 400 drinking water systems, 70 of which were larger-scale community systems, and impacted 94 wastewater treatment plants.
Last year, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation authorizing $1.28 billion in state financing for much-needed drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the state. The legislation provided no-cost and low-cost loans through NJEIT. Operators have been able to use NJEIT’s SAIL loan program for bridge loans and access to immediate funding pending disaster reimbursement from the federal government.
Since 1985, NJEIT has financed drinking water, wastewater and water quality improvement projects totaling $6.5 billion through a combination of zero- and low-interest loans. Through its attractive financing programs, the NJEIT has saved New Jersey residents $2.3 billion in financing costs while protecting the environment, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
“New Jersey enjoys a very high quality of water supervision that benefits the health and well-being of our population and our environment,” said NJEIT Chairman Warren Victor. “Our water infrastructure requires continuous maintenance, upgrading and replacement, which has been the focus of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust for 30 years by providing the financial means to achieve this goal. It has been my honor to have served this organization since its inception, and its success reflects the quality of our diverse staff.”
For more information on SAIL, the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust and its financing programs, visit www.njeit.org.