I was very excited to see that the Flood Defense Act took another step towards becoming a law by passing the New Jersey state assembly on Jan. 31.
This critical law would allow New Jersey municipalities or counties to create storm water management infrastructure to remove pollutants and help prevent flooding. Aging and inefficient infrastructure could also be replaced with greener and more efficient methods. .
Oil, grease, toxic chemicals, bacteria, pesticides and even raw sewage is running through our storm water, therefore we need to take every opportunity to remove as many pollutants as possible. As we have seen throughout the country, water quality is a key contributing factor to the overall health and value of the community.
Equally important is the flood management aspect of the bill. Last year was the wettest year on record for New Jersey, with over a 30 percent increase in rainfall. We all remember the images from last year of cars floating in Wayne, or retaining walls collapsing in Edison due to poor flood infrastructure.
Roxbury has three watersheds ( The Passaic, Raritan, and Hopatcong) that make our homes, businesses and roads particularly vulnerable. Investing a little now, will save a lot later.
Over 40 states have storm water infrastructure utilities in place, but unfortunately New Jersey has lagged behind in maintenance and innovation to this point. As a concerned member of Ward 1, I think we need the option to protect our water quality and prevent flooding.