Highlands Council Approves Multiple Projects to Protect Water Resources

Highlands Council Approves Multiple Projects to Protect Water Resources

Municipalities and Counties to address wastewater, stormwater, and lake management among other priorities

CHESTER, N.J. — At its most recent meeting, the Highlands Council approved funding to support six projects in Passaic, Morris and Sussex counties. The projects include stormwater mapping, wastewater research, watershed assessment, lake management and transportation planning.

“We are pleased to be able to support towns and counties in their goals of protecting valuable natural resources,” explained Lisa Plevin, Highlands Council Executive Director. “These important projects will significantly advance local and regional efforts to reduce pollution and improve water quality.”

A summary of the six funded projects is below.

  • West Milford Township, Passaic County – Regional Watershed Based Assessment
    Not to exceed $200,000
    West Milford intends to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the watersheds surrounding 22 private and public lakes in the municipality. In this first phase of a two-phase project, the scope of work is focused on historic data review; an examination of hydrologic/pollutant loads; a pollutant removal analysis; and stream/watershed water quality analyses.

  • West Milford Township, Passaic County – Stormwater Infrastructure Mapping
    Not to exceed $70,900
    Proposed project to develop a single Geographic Information System (GIS) map of the complete stormwater infrastructure system and a database of stormwater information for the entire Township. The project will enable West Milford to fully meet its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit requirements while building a comprehensive database that will assist in future management and maintenance of the system.

  • Jefferson Township, Morris County – Wastewater Feasibility Study
    Not to exceed $100,000
    With significant property frontage along the north and northeast portions of Lake Hopatcong –  much of which is occupied by single-family homes on small lots served by aging septic systems – Jefferson Township plans to evaluate the viability of implementing public sanitary sewers in this area. Previous studies have indicated the area is a significant contributor to phosphorus loading in the lake, which is known to encourage Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).

  • Mount Arlington Borough, Morris County – Beach Restoration Plan
    Not to exceed $60,000
    The need for a Beach Restoration project at the Mount Arlington Municipal Beach was initially identified in the recently completed Lake Hopatcong Watershed Implementation Plan. The proposed project will result in a plan that outlines strategies to address water quality improvements through restoration of the beach, park and associated stream areas.

  • Stanhope Borough, Sussex County – Water Use and Conservation Management Plan
    Not to exceed $60,000
    Stanhope Borough is seeking to develop a municipal-wide Water Use and Conservation Management Plan (WUCMP). Although Stanhope Borough is a non-conforming municipality in the Planning Area, a WUCMP is required in certain circumstances to comply with Executive Order 114 (E0114).

  • Passaic County -Transportation Analysis
    Not to exceed $24,400
    Proposed project to advance County efforts to provide bicycle and pedestrian access and safety enhancements to assist its municipalities in attracting visitors to their downtown and scenic tourism areas.

All grants are contingent upon funding availability and approved scopes of work. The Highlands Council Plan Conformance grant program is reimbursement-based and only payable after final project deliverables are reviewed and approved by Highlands Council staff.

“Lake and watershed management have been in the news a lot in the past two years, but it has always been a priority for the Highlands Council,” said Carl Richko, Highlands Council Chairman. “These Plan Conformance grants will support local projects that help ensure safe and plentiful drinking water for the residents of the State of New Jersey.”

Actions taken by the Council at this meeting will take effect following the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes, up to 10 business days from receipt of the minutes. Materials related to this meeting including resolutions, presentations, audio and minutes will be posted at: www.nj.gov/njhighlands/about/calend/index.html (click on October 15 meeting).


The Highlands Council is a regional planning agency, established in 2004 with the passage of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act and charged with implementation of the Act. More information is available at www.nj.gov/njhighlands

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