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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2015

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

DEP TO HOST PUBLIC HEARING ON TUESDAY IN LITTLE FERRY FOR
NATIONAL BILLION-DOLLAR DISASTER RESILIENCE COMPETITION

DEPARTMENT SEEKS COMMUNITY INPUT FOR APPLICATION OF FUNDING FOR
RESILIENCY PROJECT IN MEADOWLANS AREA

(15/P81) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection is hosting a public hearing at Little Ferry Borough Hall on Tuesday, September 29 to take testimony on the Phase 2 draft application for the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC).

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the competition as a way to improve the resiliency of communities that have been hit by natural disasters in recent years. New Jersey is among 40 eligible applicants nationwide that are part of the Phase 2 competition, which proposes a pilot flood protection project in the Meadowlands area.
 
The hearing is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Little Ferry Borough Hall, 215-217 Liberty Street, Little Ferry. A brief presentation will be provided, followed by testimony from the public.

Officials from the DEP, including staff from the Department’s Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Measures team, will be on hand to hear testimony.
 
“This hearing will give residents, officials and other stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the draft application that the DEP is submitting to HUD to address vulnerable areas in the Meadowlands, unmet recovery needs and possible resiliency solutions to ongoing flooding and related problems that could be resolved, in part, through funding provided by this competition,” said DEP Deputy Commissioner David Glass. “We encourage community participation in this process as we work to improve New Jersey’s resiliency from future storms.”

The competition has been conducted in two phases: a framing phase and an implementation phase. During the framing phase, applicants evaluated their disaster recovery needs, vulnerabilities, stakeholder interests, resilience, community development objectives and investment options. New Jersey’s Phase 1 application, submitted in March, identified flooding in riverine and coastal communities as its greatest risk.

In its Phase 2 application, due October 27, 2015 to HUD, New Jersey will propose a pilot project area for “Revitalization through Resilience,” with concepts on flood protection, recreational opportunities, disaster resilience, community revitalization and creation of economic development opportunities. Those areas are in and around the communities of Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Hackensack, Hasbrouck Heights, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Rutherford, South Hackensack, Teterboro and Wood-Ridge.

The formal public hearing is part of extensive outreach on the application that has been ongoing over the last two months, which included a public community meeting on September 2 in South Hackensack, direct outreach to low and moderate income communities and vulnerable populations regarding the application. Outreach has also included meetings and correspondences with numerous stakeholder groups and elected officials

The proposed application is to be posted on September 25, 2015 at www.nj.gov/dep/floodhazard for public comment. The public comment period will close on October 10 at 5 p.m. During that time, the public can submit comments directly to the DEP.

Preregistration for the public hearing is strongly encouraged, but not required, in order to accommodate all participants; however, walk-in registration also will be available. Participants may RSVP at www.formsite.com/dcanet/form90/index.html. Attendees in need of accessibility accommodations may email Kerry.Pflugh@dep.nj.gov to ensure access.

Comments on the application may also be submitted by email, to ndrcpubliccomments@dep.nj.gov or by mail to Office of Flood Risk Reduction Measures, Attention: Dave Rosenblatt, 501 East State Street, Mail Code 501-01A, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420. All comments must be received by the close of the public comment period in order to be considered.

The NDRC is funded through HUD’s Community Block Development Grant-Disaster Recovery Program.

For more information about the competition, visit: https://www.hudexchange.info/cdbg-dr/resilient-recovery/

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Last Updated: September 18, 2015