Are you at risk? A new drinking water safety effort launched in NJ
🚰 NJ-TAP will help communities safeguard drinking water supplies
🚰 Assistance will be offered to get state and federal funding
🚰 Older pipes across the state may still pose lead risks
What’s being described as a “groundbreaking initiative” has been launched in New Jersey to help communities across the state provide safe and reliable drinking water to residents.
The New Jersey Technical Assistance Program, NJ-TAP, will prioritize aid to communities identified as overburdened or disadvantaged to help them identify older lead service lines and get the state and federal funding necessary to move forward with water-quality improvement plans.
Older water pipes all over the Garden State may be leaching lead that can endanger anybody drinking the H20 coming out of the faucet.
NJ communities face many drinking water challenges
According to DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette, “New Jersey’s communities face many drinking water challenges, from lead to PFAS to aging pipes and older treatment plants, those challenges may for many practical reasons seem most daunting in the communities where the needs are the greatest.”
"I strongly encourage water systems to reach out to the DEP and take advantage of this invaluable assistance," he said.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing an estimated additional $1 billion of federal funding for New Jersey to implement projects enhancing drinking water quality and protecting state waterways, including lead service-line replacements, water treatment plant upgrades to address contaminants such as PFAS, and improvements to wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.
Lots of help
The DEP said NJ-TAP is offering a variety of assistance:
• Lead Assistance helps water systems comply with state law requiring them to develop service line inventories and create a replacement plan for lead service lines that are identified. Help is available to apply for a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan.
• General (non-lead) assistance helps water systems with technical, managerial, and financial capacity evaluations to develop an Asset Management Plan and develop a Capital Improvement Plan.
• Community Engagement and Outreach Assistance helps the DEP develop a toolbox of resources that systems and local governments can utilize for community outreach This assistance will also help water systems directly engage with their communities to encourage support for water infrastructure upgrades.
Depending on a system’s needs, participants can receive help with lead service line inventories, replacement plans, asset management planning, and technical, managerial, and financial evaluations, among other services.
Water system representatives interested in participating in NJ-TAP should contact the DEP here.
The NJ-TAP program complements and is in addition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerator Program announced earlier this year.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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