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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2015

Contact: Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795

DEP SEEKS COMMUNITY INPUT ON $230 MILLION FLOOD RESILIENCY
PROJECT FOR HOBOKEN, JERSEY CITY AND WEEHAWKEN

PUBLIC INVITED TO SEPTEMBER 24 MEETING AT HOBOKEN MULTI SERVICE CENTER

(15/P76) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, September 24, to receive community input on the scope and priorities of a $230 million flooding resiliency project for Hoboken, Weehawken and Jersey City.

The proposed project is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design (RBD) competition to establish ideas to improve physical, ecological, economic and social resilience in areas affected by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 and takes a multifaceted approach to address flooding from major storm surges and high tides as well as heavy rainfall events. The proposed RBD-Hudson River project would encompass all of Hoboken and parts of Weehawken and Jersey City.
 
The meeting, open to all interested residents, will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., September 24 at the Hoboken Multi Service Center, at 124 Grand Street. Residents may also submit comments to the DEP via email to rbd-hudsonriver@dep.nj.gov or by mail to David Rosenblatt, Director, Office of Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Measures, 501 East State Street, Mail Code 501-01A, Trenton, NJ 08625-0419. All comments should be received by October 9, 2015.

A copy of the draft scoping document for the RBD-Hudson River project, which the public can base their comments on, can be found online at: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/floodhazard/docs/rbd-hudson-river-working-draft-scoping-document.pdf

“The Christie Administration is committed to using a comprehensive resiliency strategy to protect lives and property from the consequences of dangerous flooding,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “The Rebuild by Design project for these communities is an important piece of this strategy by calling for a cooperative solution to flooding. It is a major undertaking that will require extensive input from leaders and residents in the three communities impacted by this project.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the RBD competition in the summer of 2013 and awarded the DEP with $230 million in Community Development Block Grants to plan, design and construct the proposed project Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: A Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken.

The award requires compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which includes this public scoping process. The draft scoping document outlines the purpose and need of the project, its proposed actions and a description of areas of impact to be studied in an Environmental Impact Statement, which is also required by NEPA.

After comments and public input on the draft scoping document are received, a final scoping document will be compiled. This final scoping document will start the concept development and screening phase of the project.

The DEP, in conjunction with Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken, also held a public meeting on June 23 to engage community involvement and to introduce residents to meet contractor, Dewberry Engineers, Inc., which was hired to complete the project’s Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement.

Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken were hit hard by Sandy’s storm surge but have also been susceptible to flooding in general. The proposed project calls for a combination of hard infrastructure and soft landscaping to defend against flood waters; interconnected green infrastructure to store and control stormwater runoff; and water pumps and other drainage projects to support controlled drainage during the storm and after it passes.

The project is part of $920 million HUD has approved for Rebuild By Design projects in New Jersey, New York City and New York State for resiliency projects funded by the agencies Community Development Block Grants- Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program for Sandy-impacted areas.

For more information on the Hudson River project and the Rebuild By Design Meadowlands project, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/floodhazard/index.htm

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Last Updated: September 18, 2015