Contact: Ed Potosnak
O: (609) 331-9922
C: (732) 991-7574
NEW JERSEY LCV FLOOD DEFENSE COALITION ENCOURAGES TOWNS TO APPLY FOR DEP STORMWATER UTILITY GRANT FUNDING
TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently announced the availability of $10 million to help municipalities modernize stormwater management systems and to provide technical assistance to municipal, county, and utility authorities to plan to become more resilient, including $2 million to conduct studies on the feasibility of forming stormwater utilities.
The New Jersey Flood Defense Coalition, a group of environmental organizations advocating for stormwater utilities as a way to pay for green infrastructure projects and manage stormwater flooding, applauds the NJDEP and encourages towns to apply for the grant funding before the deadlines passes.
“Investing in community-based green infrastructure can help reduce flooding and manage polluted runoff. Stormwater utilities provide an effective, practical way for towns and municipalities to pay for these critical investments. Due to their effectiveness, over 1800 stormwater utilities exist in 41 states, but there are zero in New Jersey. We need to catch up,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director New Jersey LCV. “The reality is New Jersey towns throughout the state are experiencing more extreme flooding due to the increase in stormwater from severe weather events, and this is our new normal. We encourage municipalities to act now, apply for this funding, and save homes and businesses from severe damage from more frequent and intense storms due to climate change.”
“Increasingly severe flooding throughout New Jersey is prompting municipal leaders to work together to solve these problems through every preventative measure possible. Our lives are at stake. We have to take this issue seriously and act now,” said Rachel Dawn Davis, Public Policy & Justice Organizer, Waterspirit. “The good news is that effective stormwater management tools are readily available, including green infrastructure and stormwater utilities. Waterspirit applauds the NJDEP for making this funding available. We will work to ensure that it is put to use throughout the Garden State as quickly, efficiently, and equitably as possible.”
"We welcome this great news! In these days of increasingly intense and frequent storms, flooding is occurring in places that have never flooded before and at frightening levels we have never experienced before,” said Julia Somers, Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition and Chair of the Board of New Jersey LCV. “Helping New Jersey communities research and understand the value of a stormwater utility is essential, and we hope many towns take advantage of this important opportunity, particularly those in the Highlands where data suggests will see the greatest increases in these storms.”
"Investing in green infrastructure helps protect Main street businesses from the increasing risk and costs of flood damage" said Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the NJ Sustainable Business Council. "Where they've been implemented in other states, stormwater utilities are a proven funding tool that have helped to create more vibrant and resilient local economies. Municipalities that take advantage of these NJDEP grants will be doing the right thing to ensure a sustainable future for their communities."
"NJDEP's Stormwater Utility Feasibility Technical Assistance Grants couldn't come at a better time! It's no secret that many New Jersey localities are still recovering from last year's storms, and even more New Jersey communities continue to struggle with the devastating effects of flooding, property damage, business interruption, and increased insurance costs,” said Brianne Callahan, Stormwater Manager, New Jersey Future. “The NJDEP grants will provide much-needed support for localities to take a comprehensive look at their current stormwater program and to develop a plan to fund essential infrastructure upgrades. The cost of inaction is high. We encourage all New Jersey's localities to take advantage of this fantastic planning opportunity."
For more information about New Jersey's Water Quality Restoration Grants Program, visit https://nj.gov/dep/wlm/grants/swgrant.html. The application deadline to apply for stormwater utility feasibility assistance is August 24th, and the deadline for additional stormwater project funding assistance is September 14th.