$650 million plan will shore up N.J. water quality

Gov. Chris Christie traveled to Ocean County to sign legislation that clears the way for projects to improve New Jersey’s water quality.

Flanked by state and local officials at a dock on Barnegat Bay, the governor signed bills that provide $650 million in low-cost loans and grants for municipalities to make water and sewer infrastructure improvements.

Bob Martin, head of the state Department of Environmental Protection, said New Jersey’s drinking water is in good shape overall. The projects will protect and enhance that state’s water quality.

“Being an older industrial state, protecting our water is absolutely paramount,” Martin said. “We’ve got a very dense population in this state so we need to make sure that we continue to improve the infrastructure.”

The money comes from the Environmental Infrastructure Trust Financing program. The federal government will finance at least half the cost.

Martin said the program is a model for the rest of the nation.

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