Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) released the following statement after the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 was signed into law by the President. The measure included the Safe Drinking Water Act to improve drinking water infrastructure as well as Lance-authored provisions to 1) speed up the removal of the hazardous Warren Glen Dam from the Musconetcong River and 2) expedite the feasibility study for Rahway River Basin flood mitigation.
"We have to make sure water is safe for all -- that means from homes to schools residents need to trust the water coming out of the tap. A major water safety bill is now law including provisions that will make a positive difference in New Jersey communities, including significant funds for critical water infrastructure upgrades. Doubling the funding for safe drinking water is another strong bipartisan accomplishment coming out of our Committee this Congress. And major plans for the Musconetcong River and the Rahway River are the types of projects our neighbors are counting on," said Lance, a member of the Committee and a "yes' vote on the House Floor.
Lance personally authored two provisions important to New Jersey. One measure would instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite a study of the feasibility of removing the Warren Glen Dam in the Musconetcong River between Warren and Hunterdon counties. The dam is often cited as an environmental hazard and is decades out of commission. In addition to making the Musconetcong Watershed area safer, removal of this dam would also foster a larger habitat for fish like the American shad which have been declining.
Lance successfully inserted legislative language concerning the Rahway River and expediting completion of the Army Corps' study for better flood risk management. That project has been stalled for years but is facing renewed interested following Lance's instructions.
Lance also previously announced the Environmental Protection Agency is awarding Raritan Borough $360,245 to repair or replace sewer pipes which are decaying and contributing to raw sewage overflows in the community and adversely impacting the Raritan River. The EPA included the Raritan project as part of nearly $85 million in new funds for New Jersey safe water projects -- funds appropriated in the government funding measure Lance backed earlier this year.
Lance's Energy and Commerce Committee contributed key portions of the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 dedicated to safe drinking water including:
Authorization of more than $4.4 billion over three years for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund program.
Improving accountability by aiding states and utilities with compliance and asset management.
Protecting communities by updating antiterrorism and resilience measures at public water systems.
Enhancing transparency for consumers about the quality of their drinking water.
Authorization of $100 million over the next two fiscal years for areas affected by natural disasters that need help repairing their drinking water systems or hooking up to other ones to obtain potable drinking water.