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After completing a hearing this afternoon on water infrastructure in the state of New Jersey, state Senator Troy Singleton (D-7), who chaired the hearing before the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, told InsiderNJ that the state clearly needs to do a better job on meeting water infrastructure needs.
To begin with, Singleton said, “We don’t have a practicable data base and that makes it difficult to plan ahead.
“My hope is for a data base so we can make educated decisions,” the chairman said, as Newark in this case confronts a lead pipe contamination issue in the city’s drinking water supply. “Let me be clear. This is a national issue and not necessarily reflective of a New Jersey-specific problem But what we need to do is to ensure that essentially every water system develop an asset management plan so all of us as regulators have an understanding our system.”
The state-managed portal would be uploaded so a specific regulatory agency can compel compliance.
“We already have a portal [under the provisions of the Water Quality Accountability Act], but in it now, some of the timelines are too far into the future,” Singleton said. “We need to move the timelines up, and retool what we have to make it a better, more practical and pragmatic good guidepost.”
The committee today heard from state officials and water quality experts, including Joe Fiordaliso, President of BPU, Deborah Mans, Deputy Commissioner of DEP, Mary-Anna Holden, Commissioner of BPU, Chris Strum, Managing Director, Policy, and Water of NJ Future and Dr. Manny Teodoro, Director of the Policy and Politics Program at Texas A&M University.
The next hearing on this issue is scheduled for Sept 19th and then a third hearing on Sept 25th.