On Thursday, Jan. 31, the state Assembly passed a bill that would give New Jersey a vital tool to combat flooding and improve water quality. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy, who is likely to sign it.
The Watershed Institute thanks our supporters who signed our petition to urge state lawmakers to approve this bill. We look forward to helping local governments explore and implement this tool. This spring, we plan to hold a stormwater utilities conference build on one held in September. The spring conference will educate local officials and help them gauge the best path forward.
When signed into law, municipalities, counties, and certain authorities would be authorized, not required, to form a stormwater utility. Stormwater Utilities are effective systems used in 40 other states to maintain and improve existing stormwater management systems. Currently, New Jersey isn’t maintaining these important systems properly. The utilities also use the money generated from the fees for new projects to reduce flooding and remove pollutants from our runoff. That means we are lessen the chance that our roads, basements, and properties will flood.
- Stormwater is the biggest source of pollution in our waterways.
- A majority of our waterways are not clean enough for drinking water, aquatic life, recreation, or fish consumption.
- Flooding in the state has increased as a result of more frequent and intense storms and more hard surfaces, such as pavement, throughout NJ.