NJ Spotlight recently published an Op/Ed piece co-authored by Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) Board of Trustees members John A. Thonet, P.E., P.P., and Dr. Stephen J. Souza, PhD.
The piece asserts the position that New Jersey needs stormwater utilities to provide a sustained source of local funding in order to improve and maintain stormwater infrastructure in communities throughout the state.
We’ve included an excerpt from the Op/Ed below:
NJ SPOTLIGHT OP-ED: NEW UTILITIES WOULD HELP NEW JERSEY FIGHT FLOODING AND POLLUTION
2018 will be one of the wettest years on record for the Garden State, and all that rain has resulted in frequent flooding, millions of dollars in damages, gridlocked traffic, impacted drinking water and polluted waterways.
The problem is daunting, but there is a solution. For decades, the state has provided comprehensive planning and regulations aimed at protecting the public from the flooding impacts of improperly and inadequately managed stormwater. These efforts have helped but failed to address all the social, economic and environmental impacts associated with stormwater runoff. Today, rather than continuing to use conventional “collect, detain and discharge” approaches to controlling runoff, the use of “green infrastructure” is proving to be a better alternative. It’s focused on reducing runoff at its source, through recharge, reuse and evapotranspiration, rather than just treating it as a “waste” or “nuisance” to get rid of as quickly as possible.
Green infrastructure measures include porous pavement, green roofs, rain barrels, rain gardens, bioretention basins and other techniques designed to capture rainwater and allow it to soak into the ground instead of concentrating and discharging it downstream. Additionally, the “green infrastructure” approach is far more attractive and provides ecological and community benefits that can’t be achieved with standard detention basins.
So, what’s the hold-up? The answer is the absence of a sustained source of local funding to implement and maintain new stormwater infrastructure, including green infrastructure, as well as to retrofit, upgrade or replace failing existing stormwater management facilities…
About the Op/Ed Authors:
John A. Thonet, P.E., P.P., is the president of Thonet Associates, Inc, an environmental, planning and engineering consulting firm based in Pittstown, NJ.
Dr. Stephen J. Souza, PhD is the owner of Clean Waters Consulting, LLC, a water resource consulting firm based in Ringoes, NJ that provides consulting services to Princeton Hydro, of which Steve is one of the founding principals.