State Sen. Bob Smith has long argued for a toll to help fund renewal of New Jersey’s century-old water system. He thinks the time just might be right to get it done

It has never won support in the past, but a state senator is reviving a decades-old bill that would impose a fee on water use to fund the rebuilding of New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure.

In late June, Sen. Bob Smith introduced a two-bill package that aims to provide a stable and dedicated source of funding to fix leaking water mains, replace lead service lines, acquire watershed land and wetlands, and supply drinking water to areas whose supplies are contaminated.


Whether the state is willing to accept a new fee on water is uncertain, even conservationists acknowledge. “It is definitely worth having a conversation about, but I don’t know about its political feasibility,’’ said Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

“People want clean drinking water, but there’s never enough money to do all the important work,’’ Potosnak said. “Without a sustainable source of funding, things are only going to get worse.’’

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