January 25, 2013
Re: Sandy Funding Update:
I. U.S. Senate Action Set for Monday
II. Please Complete NJEIT Survey to Maximize Support for New Jersey Needs
I. Sandy Funding Bill Scheduled for Senate Action
On Monday, January 28, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to take action on the Emergency Sandy Relief Funding bill (H.R. 152), which was passed by the House of Representatives on January 15. (See our January 16 letter at http://www.njslom.org/letters/2013-0116-Sandy-Emergency-Relief.html.)
The way for action was cleared when Senator Mike Lee of Utah was promised the opportunity to offer an amendment that would offset the funding with cuts to other programs. According to the schedule, a vote will, first, be taken on the Lee amendment. A final vote of the $50.5 billion (by the most recent Congressional Budget Office estimates) measure will follow. Under Senate rules, each vote will require a supermajority of 60 Senators to prevail.
As you recall, back in December, the Senate had passed a Sandy funding bill on a 62-32 vote. However, the bill passed by the House this year eliminated some funding that had been added last year in order to win some Senate Republican votes.
We want to thank Senators Menendez and Lautenberg for their work on advancing this measure. We will keep you posted on the outcome.
II. Help Make Sure New Jersey Gets Its Fair Share of the Funding
As indicated in our January 23 letter (http://www.njslom.org/letters/2013-0123-NJEIT-Survey.html), the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT), in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is conducting a survey, the results of which will be used to maximize emergency funding for our Garden State. At stake is grant money to fund rebuild and resiliency projects for communities and utility authorities.
The DEP, through its financing partner, the NJEIT, is collecting data to support the State’s request to the Federal Government for funds for water-related repairs AND resiliency project expenses for protection against future hazards. Even if your facility was not directly impacted by Sandy, you may still be eligible for project expenses to mitigate and protect against hazardous losses in the future.
To optimize this request and maximize the total funds that ultimately get appropriated to New Jersey for water systems and flood protection, the DEP and the NJEIT are coordinating the collection of information.
WE NEED YOUR ASSESSMENT OF TOTAL INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS (for both “As-Is” repairs and new “Hazardous Mitigation”)
In projecting your total water infrastructure requirements, your responses need to be ALL INCLUSIVE with respect to cost estimates relating to your infrastructure rebuild needs (e.g. we have a request for (2) generators for back-up power – a request for which we think there will be grant funds available, and as such should be included in our Assessment and final ask).
Please keep in mind that the total amount of funds being made available from the federal legislation is being appropriated through a variety of Federal Agencies, many of which the DEP does not typically deal with, but who will have appropriated funds available for DEP related infrastructure projects. As such, the DEP will be putting in funding requests to all of these agencies as part of this unique legislation. These agencies could include:
- DOD / Army Corp of Engineers (Flood control, Mitigation Planning & Design)
- Department of Agriculture (Watershed Protection, Conservation)
- NOAA (Shellfish bed assessment)
- HUD (community infrastructure)
- Historic Preservation (106 and Construction)
- Department of Interior (for Nat’l Parks)
So, again, be ALL INCLUSIVE in your total water infrastructure requirements.
Please fill out the assessment form at: www.njeit.org/sandy . It should take less than 5 minutes! (Note: THIS IS NOT A COMMITMENT for funds on your part – or the State’s).
If you have already submitted your information through this link, thank you for doing so. If you have any questions regarding the survey please contact NJEIT at 609-219-8600.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.