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A Year One Clean Water Agenda for the New Governor

November 30th, 2017 by

Representatives from 34 public-sector, private-sector and nonprofit organizations have together released a proposed Year One Clean Water Agenda for incoming Governor Phil Murphy, encouraging him to make investment in clean water a priority during the first year of his administration. Supporters include leaders in the utility, environmental, community development, agriculture, municipal, smart growth, industry, engineering, resilience, and planning sectors.

Among the recommendations in the Year One Clean Water Agenda:

  • Launch a high-profile “Clean Water” campaign to promote awareness and action among the public and elected and appointed officials on issues including lead contamination in drinking water, aging infrastructure, and combined sewer overflows.
  • By partnering with local officials, ensure effective combined sewer overflow plans are developed and implemented.
  • Help water utilities finance infrastructure upgrades to modernize aging water systems and ensure cost-effective operations and maintenance.
  • Update the state’s stormwater regulations to drive and reward nature-based green infrastructure techniques in development and redevelopment projects.
  • Get the lead out of drinking water in homes and schools. Publish a statewide assessment of lead in school drinking water that identifies the extent of the problem in each school district and associated needs for assistance.
  • Launch a public process to recommend statewide policies and programs to ensure water and sewer services are affordable to all ratepayers.
  • Enact legislation that permits the establishment of local and regional stormwater utilities and subsequent revenue generation to support infrastructure and management.

The agenda was crafted over a two-month period by representatives of the Association of Environmental Authorities of New Jersey, Ironbound Community Corporation, Natural Resources Defense Council, NY/NJ Baykeeper and New Jersey Future.

The full Year One Clean Water Agenda, including the list of signatories, is available here. The news release announcing the agenda is available here.

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