Monday, October 22, 2018, the New Jersey Assembly Telecommunication and Utilities Committee will consider a bill that will keep pollution out of water and reduce flooding. The bill A2694 is sponsored by Assemblyman John McKeon and Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin. This bill and S1073, that passed the full Senate in June, are an important tool in addressing the problems in New Jersey. We need this tool because of the impacts polluted runoff has on our state.
- 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.
When passed into law, municipalities, counties, and certain authorities would be authorized, not required, to form a stormwater utility. Stormwater Utilities are a tried and true system that 41 other states use to maintain better and improve existing stormwater management systems. Currently we are not 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 reducing the chance that our roads, basements, and properties will flood.
Once the bill is approved by the committee, we hope that the full Assembly passes the legislation and the Governor signs it into law as quickly as possible. It is time for New Jersey to meet head on its polluted runoff problem. It is time for stormwater utilities to come to New Jersey.