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DRBC Staff Participates in Frenchtown WWTP Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

DRBC Water Resource Branch Manager William Muszynski recently participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the newly reconstructed Frenchtown Borough (N.J.) wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).

This project was a complete reconstruction of a WWTP located on the non-tidal Delaware River, which is designated as Special Protection Waters (SPW) by the DRBC. SPW designation protects areas of existing high water quality through stricter control of wastewater discharges and reporting requirements. This meant that when it was time for Frenchtown's WWTP to be upgraded, it had to meet DRBC's anti-degradation requirements under SPW. The new plant is also designed to avoid the impacts and damages that the old plant experienced from flooding events in 2004-2006. 

The cost to reconstruct was significant, more than the small, rural community could take on without financial assistance. Therefore, a funding partnership was established between the Borough of Frenchtown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Program, and the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust to help finance the project by combining state and federal programs, grants, and loans.

In his remarks, Mr. Muszynski praised Frenchtown for undertaking this successful funding partnership in order to build a plant that will provide sufficient capacity for the community's current and future needs and will better protect the Delaware River. The new WWTP has high quality effluent as a result of the new treatment technology installed, allowing for continued protection of the existing water quality and benefiting downstream communities who use the Delaware River as a source of drinking water. "Treatment plants such as this are often thought of as sources of pollution, when in reality they are the facilities that treat and remove pollution and protect our streams and rivers. This facility will be an integral part of protecting and preserving the high quality of the Delaware River for years to come," Muszynski said.

In addition to Mr. Muszynski, several others provided remarks during the ceremony: N.J. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, Frenchtown Mayor Warren E. Cooper, N.J. Environmental Infrastructure Trust Executive Director David E. Zimmer, USDA Rural Development Program/N.J. State Director Howard Henderson, former Frenchtown Mayor/Freeholder Ronald Sworen, and current plant operator Victor Gilardi. The ceremony also included dedication of the plant building to its former operator, the late John Butler, whose dedicated and tireless service kept the old facility operational for so many years before the construction of the new facility. John's two sons were in attendance in his honor.