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Pou, Pennacchio Bill to Dedicate Fees for New Jersey Greenwood Lake Fund Advances

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Nellie Pou and Senator Joseph Pennacchio that would establish the “New Jersey Greenwood Lake Fund” as a non-lapsing, revolving fund in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) passed out of the Senate Budget and Appropriation Committee today.

“Greenwood Lake is a natural jewel in our densely populated state,” said Senator Pou (D-Passaic/Bergen). “Whether it’s swimming, boating, fishing or just enjoying the beauty of this lake, it’s important that we ensure it remains protected and preserved. This fund would provide a dedicated funding source that would be used exclusively for the the lake.”

The bill, S-2167, would establish a fund administered by the DEP and would be annually credited with $500,000 in revenue from the New Jersey vessel registration and renewal fees from the “Maritime Industry Fund.”  The moneys would be used by the Greenwood Lake Commission for the protection, preservation, restoration, maintenance, management and enhancement of the lake which supports the “Maritime Industry Fund’s” purpose of providing money for projects that support New Jersey’s maritime industry.

Greenwood Lake is an interstate lake approximately nine miles long, straddling the border of New York and New Jersey. The lake feeds North Jersey’s major source of drinking water, the Monksville and Wanaque Reservoir and supplies drinking water to 3.5 million residents and thousands of businesses on a daily basis.

Additionally, Greenwood Lake is a popular destination for outdoor activities, such as fishing, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating and hiking in the surrounding parks.

The bill specifies that the legislation does not require matching funds from the State of New York if used solely for the protection, preservation, maintenance, management or enhancement of the New Jersey side of Greenwood Lake. In addition, when joint funding is required by the Greenwood Lake Commission, the State of New York is not required to provide moneys from a similar source as the State of New Jersey.

The funding for this bill would come from New Jersey vessel registration and renewal fees.

The bill passed out of committee by a vote of 13-0 and advances to the full Senate for further consideration.