TRENTON – With Governor-elect Phil Murphy making his way into office soon, experts made an effort to steer his investments towards promoting clean water efforts in our communities. Experts put together a proposal for the governor-elect entitled Year One Clean Water Agenda. The proposal aims to set forth recommendations for ideas that the governor can hopefully put into action during his first year in office.
These experts are representatives from organizations such as the Association of Environmental Authorities of New Jersey, Ironbound Community Corporation, Natural Resources Defense Council, NY/NJ Baykeeper and New Jersey Future.
“Governor-elect Murphy has a historic opportunity to ensure all New Jerseyans have affordable access to clean, safe water and sewer service that protects human health and our environment,” said Larry Levine, senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council. “We are eager to work with his administration and other public and private-sector leaders to help bring the state’s aging water infrastructure into the 21st century.”
The recommendations in the proposal focus on the educational, financing, asset management and affordability aspects of clean water administration. The Year One Clean Water Agenda outlines specific actions that can be taken to prioritize the issue of clean water in our communities, including: launching a “Clean Water” awareness campaign, developing a partnership with local officials to ensure effective combined sewer overflow plans are developed and implemented, helping water utilities finance the modernization of their systems, updating stormwater regulations, removing lead from drinking water in homes and schools, promoting affordable water and sewer services, and enacting legislation to establish local and regional stormwater utilities.
“This Year One Clean Water Agenda spotlights critical things that the new governor can enact early in his first term to modernize New Jersey’s aging water systems,” said Chris Sturm, New Jersey Future’s managing director for policy and water. “Well-functioning water systems provide the foundation for healthy, just communities and the economic growth New Jersey needs.”