Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin met today with mayors and other elected officials to give them an update on the state’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of flooding in the Passaic River Basin. Martin told the officials that 540 residential properties, representing $121 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant commitments, have been approved for buy-outs in flood-prone municipalities.

“While there is no silver bullet that can put an end to flooding, the Christie Administration is committed to doing everything in its power to provide relief to people who have had to live for far too long with the cost, stress and anxiety of repeated flooding,” says Martin. “We are continuing to move ahead on the Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission’s 15-point plan to mitigate the impacts of flooding in this highly populated basin.”

Martin also outlined the results of an independent scientific evaluation requested by local officials following the floods of March 2011. A leading consulting engineering firm utilized the most sophisticated modeling technology available to analyze four recent flood events, including Hurricane Irene. The firm determined the operation of the Pompton Lake Dam’s flood gates is not increasing downstream flooding in the central part of the basin.

The study also suggests that the flood gates are serving the intended purpose of preventing upstream flooding in Oakland and that the lowering of Pompton Lake does not have an obvious affect on the storm’s flooding impacts.