The Garden State was awarded close to $170 million for water infrastructure improvements.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s office says the funding, announced Dec. 1 and which comes via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, can be used to help communities access safe and reliable drinking water, increase resilience, collect and treat wastewater to protect public health, clean up pollution and safeguard vital waterways.
The resources are being distributed through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), with over $73 million coming from the Clean Water SRF and more than $95 million through the Drinking Water SRF.
The Clean Water SRF primarily goes toward wastewater infrastructure improvement projects and will supplement nearly $48 million in regular funding to the state’s program in Fiscal Year 2022.
The award through the Drinking Water SRF includes $31 million for supplemental drinking water projects, $48 million to identify and replace lead service lines, and nearly $17 million to address emerging contaminants, like PFAS. That funding supplements roughly $12 million in regular funding in FY 2022.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents a unique opportunity to provide historical amounts of funding over five years for critical water infrastructure projects, especially in underserved communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa Garcia. “This just the beginning, and we look forward to providing additional Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for this critical work to New Jersey in the years ahead.”
The state said it submitted and received EPA approval for its plan to use the newly announced funding.
“Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding from EPA is helping to power New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure Investment Plan, enabling the Murphy Administration to reach even more communities with needed improvements to drinking water and wastewater systems,” said New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn LaTourette. “Together, we can ensure that generations of New Jerseyans receive reliably clean drinking water and enjoy fishable and swimmable waterways free of pollution – creating thousands of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs in the process.”
EPA says the grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling, state-by-state basis as more states receive approval throughout FY 2023. Once grants are awarded, state programs will begin to deliver the funds as grants and loans to communities across their state.
In a statement, Murphy thanked the New Jersey congressional delegation for its “determined advocacy” in securing the approximately $169 million in funding to fortify the state’s water infrastructure.
“Now more than ever, we recognize the crucial importance of high-quality drinking water and wastewater systems, especially in our environmental justice communities,” said Murphy. “This funding will help us deliver on the promise of securing safe, reliable drinking water and resilient wastewater and stormwater management systems for every New Jerseyan.”