pascrell applauds Federal water infrastructure investments
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08), the author of the Water Quality Investment Act, today applauded the City of Paterson, Pompton Lakes Borough and the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission for becoming eligible to receive millions in Recovery Act funding to improve aging water infrastructure. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was written by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama, will provide $204 million for New Jersey's clean water needs.
"This recovery funding will put people to work improving the environmental quality and overall standard of living in New Jersey," stated Pascrell, a former member of the House Water Resources Subcommittee. "I have been an advocate for increased federal investment in water infrastructure projects for a long time and am pleased with how the Recovery Act will assist New Jersey communities address water quality issues."
Paterson's $1,906,676 application and Pompton Lakes' $3,131,350 application were included as priorities on the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program list of eligible Recovery Act funding recipients. The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, which has 14 member municipalities in the Eighth Congressional District, was also a priority and is eligible to receive $10 million. Each application will have to be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before funding is allocated.
Paterson, Pompton Lakes and the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission will be eligible to receive a share of $161 million designated to help communities with water quality and wastewater infrastructure needs. An additional $43 million will be designated for drinking water infrastructure projects. Twenty percent of the total funding will be targeted toward green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, and environmentally innovative projects.
"As a former mayor, I know how important this federal investment will be to the environmental health and financial stability of so many New Jersey communities. Too often, citizens suffer from overflows that send sewage and untreated waste into streets, basements, rivers, and lakes. Clean coastlines, riverbanks and lakefronts will enhance the land value in our communities and spur local investment through increased recreation, tourism and commerce."
While Pascrell worked closely with House leadership to provide full grant funding for each clean water project, the Recovery Act will provide half the funding for each project in the form of a grant. The remaining funds will be offered as a very low interest loan which will be recycled in the state's revolving loan fund.
"This infusion of recovery funding is a terrific start and a positive indicator for how this administration will prioritize water infrastructure investment," stated Pascrell. "I hope to build on this progress by moving the Water Quality Investment Act through Congress so that municipalities can address their clean water needs without further burdening ratepayers."
Pascrell, a leading advocate in Congress on clean water infrastructure investment is the author of the Water Quality Investment Act, which was approved in the House of Representatives on March 12, 2009. The legislation would authorize a $2.5 billion dollar grant program over five years to control combined sewer overflows (CSO's) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSO's). Under the grant program, funding would be allocated directly to municipalities during the first year. The following four years of funding would be allocated to states on a need-based formula.