EPA, New Jersey announces $ 588 million in water infrastructure spending State and region

MURSTOWN, New Jersey – More than half a billion dollars in federal and state funds will go to nearly 30 water systems in New Jersey, which serve about 6 million people, or about two-thirds of the state’s population, officials said Friday.

Combined federal and state funding of $ 588 million in low-interest loans will cover a number of projects: in Newark, the state’s largest city, about $ 25 million will go to replace a leading service line; in Moorstown, a suburb of Philadelphia, at the North Church Street water treatment plant, where officials unveiled funding Friday, about $ 20 million will go to new filters to remove radium and other toxins from the water; in rural Clinton, the water system receives nearly $ 3 million as part of a water expansion project.

Funding includes $ 221 million from the Environmental Protection Agency under a 2014 law known as the Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act. The rest comes from co-government funding and from the sale of bonds to the Infrastructure Bank of New Jersey, a government body that finances road, water and other projects.

Local and state officials welcomed the investment, which will be implemented over three years, and Moorstown Mayor Nicole Gillespie said it was one of the largest in the city’s history.

This is not free money. Public water systems are – for the most part – on the hook for investment, but the price they pay at low interest rates under a deal announced on Friday means they will spend less, according to David Timer, executive director of Infrastructure Bank New York. Jersey.

Timer pointed to Moorestown, which he said has a good credit rating and could get a good bet from selling its own bonds in the market.

“Instead, they come to our program,” he said. “It’s 30% cheaper. They probably would have to pay $ 23 million through us, but out of their $ 29 million.”

New Jersey’s water infrastructure has been in the headlines in recent years due to outrage in 2019 by elevated levels of lead in drinking water in the state’s largest city. Since then Newark got the pen to this problem, replacing almost all the leading lines in about three years, when it was originally assumed that it would take ten years.

The state has also moved to replace lead pipes across New Jersey, last year Murphy signed a law that provided for an inventory of lead pipes as well as their replacement over 10 years.

New Jersey is earning $ 1 billion in five years from bipartisan federal infrastructure legislation, with $ 170 million planned for this year.

That’s just a fraction of the $ 30 billion spent on new pipes, equipment and other improvements the state needs.

Over time, federal funds will dissipate, with about $ 170 million planned for this year.

What exactly this money will go to will depend partly on the results of the planned meetings of stakeholders, partly on government funds management plan.

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