FY23 NJ Budget Makes Historic $300 Million Investment in Water Infrastructure

Media Contacts
Doug O'Malley

State Director, Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center

Trenton – The FY23 state budget, which was passed by both houses of the Legislature on Wednesday and signed by Gov. Murphy today, includes historic allocations from the state’s American Rescue Plan dollars, including a $300 million investment in water infrastructure, which was the highest allocation of ARP dollars in the FY23 budget (tied with Rutgers). Currently, there are still more than $1.4 billion of ARP dollars left to be allocated by 2024 and spent by 2026.

Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey, issued the following statement in response to the inclusion of these dollars in the final FY23 state budget:

“For too many years, we have known about the costs of our broken water infrastructure on our health and the environment, but budgets haven’t allocated dollars to fix the problem. We thank the Murphy Administration and the Legislature for investing in a down payment to fix our broken water infrastructure.

This is a big win for $300 million in water infrastructure funding in the state budget to modernize our water infrastructure, remove the threat of lead service lines and work to clean up our waterways. This is a down payment on the work to bring New Jersey’s water infrastructure into the 21st Century and this needs to be the start of transformational investments for the state’s water systems.

Close to a year ago, Gov. Murphy signed into law legislation to ensure every lead service line is replaced in the next decade and earlier this year, Vice President Harris visited Newark to celebrate with Mayor Ras Baraka the successful replacement of every lead service line in the City and the passage of the Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The federal dollars will make a huge impact, but we need to provide state dollars to meet Gov. Murphy’s mandate.

This should be the start of transformative investments and we urge Gov. Murphy and the Legislature to work to commit to $1 billion of funding over the next year for clean water investments to address a multitude of challenges including: funding 25% of the cost of the replacement of all lead service lines in the state in the next decade, jumpstart work to eliminate toxic forever chemicals known as PFAS from our drinking water, providing more than 25% of the funding to fix combined sewer overflow systems and improve stormwater management and reduce flooding and fund the replacement of school water fountains with active levels of lead with water stations with certified filters to remove lead.

We want to work with NJDEP and the Murphy Administration to ensure the allocated $300 million is invested to start to achieve these goals and work with them to ensure that additional ARP dollar can be used to extend the progress needed to fix our broken water infrastructure. This year will be critical for making the investments to ensure our water infrastructure can finally enter the 21st Century.”