(23/P037) TRENTON –The Murphy Administration has awarded $7 million in grants for projects across the state that will enhance and modernize local stormwater management practices and infrastructure in the face of worsening impacts from climate change, Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette announced today. The goal of the projects, many of which use green infrastructure technology and natural solutions and are in overburdened communities, is to mitigate localized flooding and improve the ecological health of waterways.
Commissioner LaTourette announced the Stormwater Assistance Grants during a news conference today in Perth Amboy as part of the Murphy Administration’s Infrastructure Investment Tour. The tour is raising public awareness about the need for concerted investments in water infrastructure projects that will reduce flooding threats, create jobs, protect public health, and enhance the health of the state’s waterways. Perth Amboy received a $438,512 grant to implement six green infrastructure projects designed to better mitigate combined sewer system overflows.
“This innovative Stormwater Assistance Grant program is funding projects in all corners of the state that will mitigate flooding and improve the ecological health of our waterways,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “We are proud to provide our communities with the resources to make them safer, healthier, and more resilient. At the same time, we must acknowledge that we have much work to do to address New Jersey’s pressing water infrastructure needs, estimated at $30 billion.”
“This type of public investment will make Perth Amboy and other communities around the state more resilient in the face of climate change,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “We’ve seen incredible increases in the frequency of flooding and other hazards. I am proud of our work to mitigate that damage by funding projects like this and listening to experts about how to set our state on a safe, prosperous path.”
“This is an important investment to help combat the increased flooding we’ve seen in Perth Amboy. Making such investments today is necessary to ensure the community is prepared to face future threats posed by climate change and I am committed to supporting that preparation,” said Senator Joseph F. Vitale. “I applaud the Governor and DEP for making these infrastructure improvements a priority for our town.”
“Today’s announcement of $7 million in grants to address storm water infrastructure is a prime example of New Jersey’s forward thinking and productivity in confronting the threats of climate change,” said Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez. “Funding to modernize the state’s waterways and storm water systems are essential resiliency measures that will not only create jobs but also aid in our preparedness. I am grateful that Perth Amboy will be a recipient of these funds and applaud the DEP and Commissioner LaTourette for continuing to think of important initiatives like this one.”
The DEP is using money from the state’s Corporate Business Tax and the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund to fund the grant program. Grants were prioritized for municipalities with combined sewer systems and/or those that are designated by the DEP as overburdened.
Perth Amboy is receiving $438,512 to implement green infrastructure projects in priority sewer areas to reduce discharges from combined sewer systems that cause nuisance flooding and combined sewage-stormwater discharges.
“Perth Amboy has a rich industrial history and early development played a vital role in driving local and statewide economic growth. However, today, the aging infrastructure poses a challenge that raises greater concerns. I'm grateful for the State's alliance and support on the necessary Stormwater improvements for our community, said Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin J. Caba. “Together, we are committed to increasing the resilience of Perth Amboy’s green infrastructure, reducing climate risk and protecting the integrity of the Raritan Bay.
The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) is getting a $1.2 million grant for a major green infrastructure project for the area around State and Harrison streets.
“We’re thrilled to learn that our application, with the support of Camden County, Camden City, Camden Community Partnership and the entire Camden Collaborative Initiative, to bring even more high-quality green infrastructure to the City of Camden has been awarded,” said CCMUA Authority Executive Director Scott Schreiber. “This project is particularly exciting because it integrates so many of the social and environmental justice values shared by the NJDEP and Governor Murphy’s administration more broadly: making streets safer and more accessible, fostering natural beauty, preparing for climate change, reducing heat island effects, and mitigating street flooding -- all while protecting the health of the region’s waters. This is exactly the kind of project we mean when we talk about a ‘triple bottom line’, and it’s beyond encouraging to see that our state officials acknowledge and explicitly support this kind of multi-benefit approach. Combined with funding from NJDEP awarded to another of the project’s partners, Camden Community Partnership, this project now has nearly $3 million in support – a deeply impactful investment for this neighborhood, this city, and for the Cooper and Delaware Rivers.”
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is receiving $228,900 to control runoff from a parking area.
“The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is thrilled to receive this Stormwater Grant from the NJDEP and looks forward to partnering with Jefferson Township for the installation of a biorientation basin at Lakeside Fields,” said Foundation Executive Director Kyle Richter. “A very exciting part of the project is our partnership with students from Jefferson Township High School Environmental Science Academy to engage them in every step of project implementation resulting in the creation of an educational outreach video on the importance of stormwater management in improving water quality in Lake Hopatcong.”
Hackensack is receiving $200,000 to prepare a stormwater asset management plan and analyze the feasibility of implementing a stormwater utility and sanitary sewer utility.
“The City of Hackensack is extremely grateful to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for awarding us this Stormwater Assistance Grant,” said Hackensack City Manager Vincent J. Caruso. “This funding will reinforce our commitment to the enhancement of our city as well as our efforts to protect our environment, and we will work collaboratively to implement stormwater management solutions that safeguard our community, prevent flooding, and nurture a sustainable future for generations to come.”
Mount Holly is receiving $285,00O to replace impervious asphalt paving with porous paving at the municipal building.
“We would like to thank Commissioner LaTourette and the NJDEP for ensuring that Mount Holly and other towns have the vital resources that they need in order to act as stewards of the environment,” said Mount Holly Mayor Chris Banks. “This grant will enable us to reduce the effects of flooding in our downtown while providing much needed open space for the public to enjoy, and not burdening the local taxpayers with a property tax increase.”
The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) will receive $134,000 to evaluate stormwater management approaches in five Gloucester County communities.
“We need to build new infrastructure that makes us more resilient to the impacts of the climate crisis that are here today and that we know will continue to worsen for at least several decades to come. These DEP grants put funding directly into the hands of communities and will begin to revitalize our infrastructure. These funds will help ensure we are safer from increasingly intense flooding and that we have enough clean water to meet all our needs during times of drought,” said ANJEC Executive Director Jennifer M. Coffey.
Awards were made in four categories: Stormwater Asset Opportunity Planning and Analysis, Green Infrastructure Projects, Existing Infrastructure Enhancement, and Removal and Restoration of Impervious Areas. The DEP has awarded the following grants broken down by category:
Stormwater Opportunity Planning and Analysis
Grants in this category fund stormwater management improvements or identify locations best suited for implementation of improved stormwater management techniques.
- Hackensack ($200,000): Hackensack will prepare a stormwater asset management plan and analyze the feasibility of implementing a stormwater utility and sanitary sewer utility. The city is making an $800,000 cash match for a total project cost of $1 million. Hackensack will be working with Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc. to complete this project. The project includes conducting closed circuit cleaning and televising of existing stormwater infrastructure, evaluating critical and vulnerable assets, and completing GIS mapping of storm sewer assets.
- Newark ($150,000): The city will conduct Phase 2 of its Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study and Implementation. The city is making a $140,000 cash match for a total project cost of $290,000. Newark will be partnering with Black & Veatch Management Consulting LLC, New Jersey Future, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and the Victoria Foundation to develop a stormwater rate ordinance and stormwater utility implementation plan, design a stormwater credits program, obtain and configure a data management tool, develop standard operating procedures to support potential stormwater utility fee/credit programs, and train staff to more effectively manage business processes associated with a stormwater utility fee program.
- Jersey City Public Schools ($79,521): Jersey City Public Schools will develop a plan to survey and retrofit up to 39 schools with green infrastructure and construct rain gardens at two of them. The district, through its in-kind match partners, will make a $23,050 in-kind match, for a total project cost of $102,571. Work will include assessment of green infrastructure opportunities, development of a plan to receive public input on the green infrastructure retrofit plans, and community education and outreach.
- Township of Bloomfield ($77,535): The township will work with Remington & Vernick Engineers Inc. to update and digitize stormwater utility mapping. Bloomfield is providing a $77,535 match for a total project cost of $155,070. Work includes land surveying and GPS data collection, digitizing existing resource data, and mapping of GIS utility infrastructure location data.
- Salem ($51,900): The city will update its Town Bank watershed stormwater study, evaluate green infrastructure opportunities to reduce flow to the Town Bank pumping station, and develop a long-term maintenance and monitoring plan.
- Palmyra ($60,750): Palmyra will prepare a Stormwater Operations Study for its more than 100-year-old stormwater system that consists of some 280 stormwater inlets and 150 manholes. The study will evaluate subsurface conditions causing obstructions that restrict stormwater passage and exacerbate flooding. The data will be used to prepare GIS-generated stormwater utility maps.
- Dumont ($80,000): The borough will develop a stormwater drainage study to determine the most at-risk flood areas by calculating the capacity of the current piping system in place. The borough will work with a consulting engineering firm to collect data, establish a municipal stormwater management plan, and prioritize state-recognized high-priority green space parcels. Recommendations of priority projects for stormwater infrastructure will be made by the consultant and borough.
- Haledon ($50,000): The borough will create a stormwater drainage study that will be used to develop a study of green infrastructure opportunities that balances environmental and community needs. The Borough’s administration, Department of Public Works, and Office of Emergency Management will work in collaboration with a qualified planning consultant to conduct the study, which will assess conditions that contribute to stormwater runoff, analyze potential green infrastructure solutions (such as bioswales, rain gardens, etc.), and develop an action plan for incorporating green infrastructure within the stormwater management system.
- Moorestown Township ($50,000): The township will complete a stormwater mapping inventory to inform priority planning for projects to mitigate flooding, increase storm resilience, upgrade drainage facilities, and track maintenance. The drainage facilities will be catalogued and assigned priority ranking to identify the most critical improvements and develop a schedule for future upgrades. Project deliverables include drainage area maps and component locations, a complete drainage facilities list, and a comprehensive analysis of the township’s drainage system. A contractor will provide GIS mapping, assistance with field locating, development of drainage areas, investigation of problem areas, analysis, budgeting and estimating.
- Town of Boonton ($46,200): Boonton will prepare a study to incorporate improved stormwater management techniques such as green infrastructure, retrofits to existing stormwater infrastructure, and restoration through reduction or removal of impervious surfaces. The study will also include the identification and mapping of existing stormwater management improvements, and the creation of maps for the purpose of assessing and improving overall stormwater management. The project will result in a complete report, with mapping and inventories of the stormwater system. The municipal engineer will work with Mott MacDonald on this project.
- Randolph ($45,000): The township will inspect and evaluate 75 detention basins for the feasibility of green infrastructure retrofits. Randolph will be working with Ferriero Engineering to complete this project, which will entail site inspection and photo documentation, a review of original design plans, identification of feasible green infrastructure retrofits, and determination of improvement costs. The township plans to select 15 of the 75 total basins as candidates for completing a more detailed study for potential green infrastructure retrofit.
- River Vale ($45,000): The township will initialize a Stormwater Asset Management Program/Plan. Additionally, the Township is making a $13,250 in-kind match for a total funding of $58,250. River Vale will be working with Statile Associates as well as the Department of Public Works to create a database of current stormwater facilities, improve maintenance practices for stormwater infrastructure, and identify opportunities for improvement, such as the removal of impervious surfaces.
- North Caldwell ($17,923): The borough will develop a green infrastructure opportunities study that focuses on implementing green infrastructure retrofits and recommended solutions for municipally maintained basins. The study will include a list of GI recommendations, cost estimates, list of permits, photos, and written reports. The borough’s engineering consultant, Ferriero Engineering, will assist with the project.
Green Infrastructure Projects
Grants in this category fund green infrastructure to manage stormwater.
- Newark Housing Authority ($553,500): The housing authority will construct green infrastructure for the Hyatt Court housing complex. Work includes the replacement of 6,100 square feet of asphalt with porous pavement and the construction of enhanced rooftop drainage. In addition, rain gardens will replace pavement in three courtyard areas. The project will help reduce stormwater flow to the combined sewer system; vegetation will be beneficial in reducing the heat-island effect in the city.
- Woodbridge Township ($98,400): The township will implement green infrastructure for three sites. The project involves the installation of 12 rain gardens totaling 5,075 square feet to collect and filter rainwater from more than 24,000 square feet of impervious surfaces. This project will manage stormwater runoff and help reduce localized flooding. It will also provide microhabitats for birds and pollinators and add to the aesthetics of the neighborhood.
- Lake Hopatcong Foundation ($228,900): The Lake Hopatcong Foundation will construct green infrastructure to receive stormwater runoff from the Lakeside Fields parking lot. The project involves the installation of a 400-foot-long bioretention swale planted with native vegetation that will reduce nutrients from stormwater runoff entering the lake, thereby reducing harmful algal bloom potential and enhancing public recreational opportunities.
- Perth Amboy ($438,512): The city will implement six green infrastructure projects in priority sewer areas to reduce discharges from combined sewer systems that cause nuisance flooding and combined sewage-stormwater discharges. The project involves the installation of green streets, tree pits, cisterns, pervious pavement, and curb extensions with stormwater planters.
- Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority ($1.2 million): The CCMUA will implement the green infrastructure portion of the Harrison Avenue and State Street Stormwater and Complete Streets Project. The project includes the design and construction of a series of bioretention basins along the Harrison Avenue-State Street corridor sufficient to treat runoff from the “water quality design storm.” It also includes tree plantings to create a community green space. The project will mitigate stormwater flow to the combined sewer system, improving the quality of surface waters.
- Ringwood ($194,700): The borough will construct a rain garden at the Martin J. Ryerson Middle School to intercept runoff from the northern area of the parking lot. Using native vegetation, the project will reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients entering Cupsaw Brook, thereby discouraging harmful algal blooms in Cupsaw Lake downstream. The project will also include education and outreach to promote green infrastructure techniques such as rainwater harvesting, bioretention systems, and other easy-to-implement best management practices and low-impact development techniques.
- Pemberton Township ($135,000): The township will install four rain gardens along North Lakeshore Drive to treat runoff generated by the road surface and improve water quality in Mirror Lake.
- Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions ($134,000): The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions will address impaired waterways through various approaches, including the design and construction of five green infrastructure projects, an impervious cover assessment, reduction action plan and web map, and green infrastructure feasibility studies in Glassboro, Paulsboro, Woodbury, Swedesboro and Deptford.
- Mott Watkins Associates ($250,000): On behalf of Egg Harbor Township, Mott Watkins Associates will address drainage issues in the municipal office parking lot. The project will remove the existing impervious asphalt pavement from the parking stalls and replace it with pervious paving designed to allow rainwater to infiltrate the ground.
- Borough of Waldwick ($32,000): The borough will design and install a 175-square-foot rain garden in the municipal parking lot to filter stormwater runoff.
- Rutgers University Institutional Planning and Operations/Planning, Development, and Design ($262,269): Rutgers will implement multiple green infrastructure best management practices at College Hall on the Douglass College campus. The project includes construction of pervious pavement to replace impervious asphalt at twelve parking spaces, disconnection of existing roof leaders and downspouts, installation of a cistern and low-voltage, high-efficiency irrigation system, and construction of a rain garden to manage runoff that exceeds the capacity of the cistern. The project will reduce runoff volume and rates, increase groundwater infiltration and recharge, improve stormwater runoff quality, improve the aesthetics and ecological function of the campus landscape, decrease urban heat-island effects, and decrease ice and snow management costs and downstream impacts.
- Cranford Township ($4,741): The township will install a rain garden at the Cranford Recreation Center to detain approximately 1,500 gallons of stormwater runoff per inch of rainfall. This project will address stormwater flooding issues at the site as well as serve as a demonstration project with high public visibility.
- Point Pleasant Beach ($209,750): The borough will re-pave a parking lot at the Manasquan Inlet and construct a rain garden to receive runoff from the parking lot, protecting local surface water.
- Eatontown ($209,000): The borough will make improvements to Wampum Lake Park, including the construction of three rain gardens to capture and treat runoff from impervious parking, a roadway and pedestrian walkway.
- Rutgers University Institutional Planning and Operations/Planning, Development, and Design ($119,993): Rutgers will design and install a bioswale adjacent to Newark City Hall. The bioswale will accept and filter runoff from 2,250 square feet of impervious cover and mitigate vegetation and soil media in the bioswale and mitigate discharges to the combined sewer system.
- Borough of Caldwell ($91,110): The borough will design and install three rain gardens using native vegetation in grassy lawn areas to receive roof runoff.
- Bordentown City ($115,542): The city will design and install a bioretention system with underdrain at the Carslake Community Center. The system will collect and treat stormwater runoff from the community center parking lot, roof drains and the roadway on the site.
- Bernardsville ($163,250): The Borough will construct a roadside bioswale to reduce the pollutant load entering a tributary of Mine Brook and will continue the conversion of a previously purchased private residence into a recreational area by removing impervious cover and installing a porous surface in the parking lot. The bioswale is intended, in part, to reduce the need for roadway deicing materials.
Improvement of Existing Stormwater Infrastructure
Projects awarded grants in this category improve existing stormwater management infrastructure and/or restore or retrofit stormwater basins to address water quality and reduce stormwater flow.
- Elizabeth ($150,000): Funds will be applied to one of the city’s combined sewer overflow mitigation projects with the goals of reducing combined sewer overflow while also reducing flooding along Third Avenue and at the intersection of Doyle Street and Atlantic Street. The city is making a $11.56 million match for a total project cost of $11.7 million. The city will work with a consultant to construct a 1.3-million-gallon storage tank to temporarily store flow from the combined sewer system during storm events that will be returned to the system for treatment and discharge.
- Rutgers University ($151,060): Rutgers will implement a basin retrofit project at the Cook College campus. Rutgers will work with a consultant to design and implement the expansion and conversion of an existing detention basin to a bioretention basin that will receive and treat runoff from an adjacent parking lot. The bioretention basin will enhance the ecological and stormwater treatment function of the existing basin and will be used as a teaching and learning resource.
- Montgomery Township ($431,120): The township will convert two existing stormwater detention basins into green infrastructure. Montgomery Township will provide matching funds for a total project cost of $438,404. The township will work with a consultant to design and implement the detention basin conversions, which will involve the removal of concrete low-flow channels and the replacement of turf grass with native meadow vegetation.
- Mansfield Township ($378,420): The township will work with a consultant to convert two existing detention basins into green infrastructure. The green infrastructure will include an infiltration basin and a standard constructed wetland. The project will serve to improve water quality and has the additional benefit of enhancing priority community greenspace.
Management and Restoration
Projects awarded grants under this category will remove or reduce impervious cover for the purposes of creating natural areas and restoring or improving the water quality and quantity functions.
- Rutgers University ($209,903): Rutgers will remove approximately 10,000 square feet of abandoned roadway on the Livingston campus and restore the area as forest. The forested area will include a large tree canopy layer, understory tree and shrub layer, and herbaceous ground layer. The goal is to prevent the growth and establishment of non-native invasive plant species, and to establish a forest to reduce flooding and eventually serve as a carbon sink.
- Mount Holly ($285,000): The township will remove existing asphalt pavement and install porous sidewalk. The project involves the removal of the impervious surface currently located behind the township building along Rancocas Creek and convert the area into green space to help reduce flooding.
About the Infrastructure Investment Tour
- Commissioner LaTourette, on behalf of the Murphy Administration, is touring the state and meeting with local officials and stakeholders to raise awareness of the need for concerted investments in water infrastructure to advance the state’s Water Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP) launched in January 2022.
- In January 2022, the Murphy Administration launched the state’s $1 billion Water Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP), an innovative effort to address the state’s water infrastructure challenges through short and long-term investments that will create good-paying jobs while advancing the state’s environmental justice and climate resilience goals. WIIP is fueled by federal funding provided by the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and relies on continuing state appropriations provided by the Murphy Administration and the New Jersey Legislature.
- Throughout the Murphy Administration, the DEP has implemented comprehensive policies and programs to develop long-term solutions to statewide stormwater management and flooding problems that are worsening due to climate change. This month, the DEP launched an interactive dashboard that provides regularly updated information to help local governments and the public track the progress of funding for much-needed drinking water and clean water infrastructure projects that are important to the health and economic vitality of the Garden State.
- In March, the DEP launched NJ-TAP (New Jersey Technical Assistance Program), a groundbreaking initiative providing enhanced technical assistance to help disadvantaged communities provide safe and reliable drinking water to residents. NJ-TAP prioritizes aid to communities identified as disadvantaged or overburdened to identify lead service lines, develop asset management and capital improvement plans, and identify sources of state and federal funding to assist with important water-quality improvement projects. This aid is being provided free of charge to participating water systems.