June 21, 2018
Contact: Ed Potosnak
O: (609) 331-9922
C: (732) 991-7574
NEW JERSEY LCV, ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS
APPLAUD PASSAGE OF THE FLOOD REDUCTION ACT
TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey LCV and several state conservation groups praised the State Senate for the passage of S1073, also known as the Flood Reduction Act. The bill, sponsored by Chair of Senate Energy and Environment Committee Smith (D-17) and Senator Bateman (R-16), permits counties and municipalities to administer a fee to manage and prevent flooding and clean up polluted runoff. The legislation is permissive, not mandatory, and allows communities to decide how to address these important local flooding and water quality issues, while providing tools to achieve this goal.
Over 1,800 flood reduction entities, also known as stormwater utilities, exist in 40 states across the country, including Texas, Ohio, and Florida. The fees are based on how much impervious surface, such as concrete or pavement, is on a property. These kinds of surfaces contribute to flooding problems and cause polluted runoff to enter bodies of water.
The Flood Reduction Act passed the NJ Senate with bipartisan support earlier today and the Assembly bill, referred to the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, is awaiting consideration.
“We have a $15 billion stormwater infrastructure problem in New Jersey, and this bill will help secure funds in local communities to ensure their water remains clean,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey LCV. “We would like to thank the bipartisan sponsors, Senators Smith and Bateman for their leadership, and we look forward to the Assembly taking up this important issue as well. Our state needs to establish a flood reduction fund as soon as possible to address this serious problem that devalues our property and harms our economy.”
"New Jersey's polluted runoff problem affects all of us and it isn't going to go away on its own. Our communities need access to the polluted runoff and flood reduction tools available in 40 other states to remain competitive at the national level," said Chris Sturm, Managing Director of Policy of Water at New Jersey Future.
"Flooding is an increasing problem for residents and businesses across the Garden State, and this bill can help,” said Jennifer M. Coffey, Executive Director of Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. “As a statewide group, ANJEC works with local officials and volunteers from city to shore to help them install green infrastructure that manages polluted runoff the same way nature does to reduce flooding, improve water quality and quality of life.”
Julia Somers, Executive Director of New Jersey Highlands Coalition, said, "Nearly two-thirds of the residents in New Jersey rely on the Highlands for their drinking water. Keeping pollution of our waterways is essential to the health of our state's families and businesses."
"Polluted runoff is a threat to any and all bodies of water in New Jersey," said Jaclyn Rhoads, Assistant Executive Director of Pinelands Preservation Alliance. "I am excited to see how the communities in the Pinelands, especially in the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, use this new source of funding to prevent pollution in our water and create new green spaces."
New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to elect environmental champions, hold public officials accountable, and support laws which protect our environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.