Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NJ to ante up $30M to rebuild water infrastructure

Repairs were ongoing at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission’s
plant following Hurricane Sandy. (Photo: John Munson-The Star-Ledger)

Hurricane Sandy damaged more than 100 wastewater and water treatment facilities in New Jersey, leaving the state with an unexpected $2.6 billion bill to repair, rebuild, and make the systems more resilient.
Some of the state’s biggest sewage treatment plants were completely flooded during Sandy, causing hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage to spill into waterways.
NJ Spotlight reports today that  the state is planning to kick in $30 million in clean energy funds to help make the state's wastewater and water treatment plants more resilient in case of extreme storms like Sandy.
Under the plan being developed by the state’s Clean Energy Office, the $30 million would provide a required state match to anticipated federal funding. The money would be used to finance energy efficiency and combined heat and power (CHP) plants at the facilities.
In Sandy’s aftermath, the Christie administration is pushing plans to build CHP plants at critical facilities, such as sewage and water treatment plants and hospitals and nursing homes to prevent power outages caused by extreme weather.
New Jersey officials say they expect to receive about 40 percent of the $570 million Congress approved to deal with problems caused by Sandy. If so, state officials have said it could provide up to $3 billion in improvements to the water treatment facilities.

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Meanwhile, Legislators also are moving forward with a separate proposal to create a three-year program that could furnish up to $5 billion to help make repairs to water infrastructure.
The bill, voted out by committees in both the Assembly and Senate earlier this spring, would funnel so-called bridge loans to local governments and institutions enabling them to get a jump on the needed work, Here again, the expectation is that the loans would be repaid with federal dollars.

See full story: State Plans to Ante Up $30 Million to Rebuild NJ Water Infrastructure

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