News Briefs: New Jersey Nixes Lead Line Replacements Due to Budget Issues

Also in this week's sewer and water news, a Florida water works department closes its office after staff is exposed to COVID-19

Many residents in New Jersey will likely be waiting much longer than expected to have their lead service lines replaced, thanks to a potential $10 billion shortfall in the state budget due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

Gov. Phil Murphy says the budget shortfall requires the state to nix the $80 million it hoped to allocate this year for the replacement of lead service lines that are contaminating people’s drinking water supplies with unsafe levels of lead.

One exception is the city of Newark, which will continue its lead service line replacement program, as it has secured funding via a $130 million bond from the Essex County Improvement Authority.

Florida Utility Closes Office After COVID-19 Exposure

Central Water Works in Century, Florida, recently closed its business office temporarily due to staff exposures to COVID-19.

“A few of our staff members learned they had been exposed to COVID-19,” the utility reported in an email to “Out of concern for the health and safety of our customers, we have closed our office to customers until at least July 10th.”

The utility says its staff members will be tested for the disease, and that none of them have shown symptoms of any illness.

EPA Announces $220 Million for New York Water Infrastructure   

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency celebrates its 50th anniversary year, the agency announced it has awarded $220 million to New York for State Revolving Funds (SRFs) to assist with water infrastructure projects that help protect surface water and provide safe drinking water to communities throughout the state.

“EPA’s continued commitment to investing in our state and local partners’ infrastructure projects helps ensure residents have affordable access to safe drinking water and cleaner waterways,” EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez says. “These funds will provide critical upgrades to help modernize New York’s water infrastructure needs while protecting human health and the environment. These grants represent a longstanding and fruitful partnership between EPA and states.”


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