TYPE: Legislation


DESCRIPTION: Authorizes municipalities, counties, and certain authorities to establish stormwater utilities.

POSITION: Support with amendments

TO: Senate Energy & Environment Committee

We are strongly behind the idea of setting up stormwater utilities to deal with the problems exacerbated by stormwater in the most densely populated state in the country including flooding and pollution, which impacts public health, drinking water quality, and causes significant economic costs to homeowners and businesses. 

Our concern with this bill though is that language used throughout the bill is vague regarding monitoring for success and prioritizing green infrastructure. Specifically, we suggest the following amendments to strengthen the bill and provide a better framework for the DEP to build regulations around the utilities:

  • Strengthen language requiring that all construction, repairs, and other actions by the utilities prioritize green infrastructure with the only exceptions having to following the DEP’s stormwater rules in order to prevent the use of outdated technology and practices that would not maximize benefit at a given cost
  • Provide more explicit language that requires utilities to explain how their actions, supported by data, will reduce pollutant loads and water runoff
  • Remove property type exemptions
  • And lastly, include a provision that establishes a residential fee assistance program for low-moderate income residents that may experience a larger burden from this additional payment

We will be submitting formal, written recommendations in the coming days that speak to these issues.
Thank you for your time.