TRENTON – In an effort to further expand access to clean water throughout the state, the Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Linda Greenstein and Richard Codey, which would authorize the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB) to expend up to $2.07 billion to provide loans to local governments to help finance clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects.
“Much of the State’s water infrastructure has aged past its useful life and is breaking down due to decades of underinvestment,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Lead service lines, combined sewer overflows, and emerging contaminants threaten the health, safety, and economic well-being of New Jersey residents. These funds will allow local governments to address these issues and develop innovative drinking water and waste water projects.”
The bills, S-3796 and S-3797, would authorize the NJIB, through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), to provide up to $2.07 billion in loans with an interest rate at or below the prevailing market rate to local governments for the financing of clean water projects.
The 181 approved projects for financing under the bill include drinking water and waste water infrastructure projects across the state, from Camden to Trenton to East Orange.
“Infrastructure projects have been a foundation for enhancing quality of life, and are an important component for our state’s economic vitality. This legislation will help New Jersey municipalities continue to provide critical clean water services,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “These loans will also give our local communities some breathing room in their budgeting process, while enhancing the quality of life for residents.”
Since its creation in 1985, the NJIB, in partnership with several state agencies, has provided low-interest loans for the development of critical infrastructure projects with the mission of reducing the cost of financing for New Jersey counties and municipalities and making possible responsible and sustainable economic development.
The Senate also advanced S-3337, which would establish a Community Hazard Assistance Mitigation Program Revolving Loan Fund within the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB).
The bills were released from the Senate by votes of 36-0 and 36-0, respectively.