Sunday, August 24, 2014

Historic $260 million FEMA mitigation grant will help Sandy-smashed NJ wastewater plant shore up defenses



The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded a $260 million Public Assistance grant to the
Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC). It is the largest mitigation grant FEMA ever has issued through the Public Assistance Program. 

New Jersey Business reports that the funding will be used to build a comprehensive flood protection system at the wastewater treatment facility in Newark and incorporate microgrid technology to allow the facility to continue to operate when the larger electric grid fails.
"PVSC’s Newark wastewater treatment plant, the fifth largest in the nation, serves an estimated two million residents of New Jersey and New York. The plant processes 25 percent of New Jersey’s waste and 15 percent of New York City’s. Forty-eight communities feed into the system.
              
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"The extensive physical damage to the 152-acre facility from Sandy’s storm surge and the resulting power outage caused significant community and environmental impacts.  Power outages shut down key pumping stations for 48 hours and, in order to prevent raw sewage from backing up into thousands of homes, PVSC was forced to discharge 840 million gallons of untreated sewage into Newark Bay.

"It took six days for workers to restore wastewater treatment capabilities, and the facility was not fully functional for months."

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