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(14TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Wayne DeAngelo and Dan Benson that dedicates funds for clean and drinking water projects throughout the state including Mercer and Middlesex counties was signed into law Thursday.

The law (A-4055) appropriates certain federal and state monies to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to implement the 2011 New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program, which is expected to finance approximately $650 million in environmental infrastructure projects for the state fiscal year 2012.

Approximately $400 million will be available for clean water project loans and $250 million for drinking water project loans through the financing program.

“Whether for cooking or bathing, residents should trust that the water they are using on a daily basis is safe,” said DeAngelo. “These funds will help ensure the quality of our water, while creating a demand for jobs which are sorely needed.”

“Nothing is more basic to our quality of life than clean water,” said Benson. “These funds will finance projects that will help keep our drinking water safe, and create jobs (as improvement work begins) beneficial to all residents.”

The New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program has financed 931 projects totaling over $5.6 billion throughout the state. The program has reduced financing costs for project sponsors by approximately 25 – 30 percent. From its inception, the program has saved borrowers approximately $1.9 billion, generated construction jobs, and stimulated significant improvements to the state’s clean water and drinking water infrastructure.

Projects in Mercer and Middlesex include:

  • $1.4 million to Princeton Borough, $1.8 million to Princeton Township and $618. 765 to Hightstown Borough for clean water projects.
  • $3 million to the Middlesex Water Company for a drinking water project.
  • $1.5 million to the Ewing-Lawrence SA for a drinking water project.

Funding sources for the program include prior federal capitalization grants, state bond issue proceeds, and various prior legislative appropriations, loan repayments, interest earnings, and market rate loans made by the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.