SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 4098  

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  DECEMBER 18, 2023

 

      The Senate Environment and Energy Committee reports favorably Senate Bill No. 4098.

      This bill would amend P.L.2023, c.120 to amend the lists of environmental infrastructure projects for which the Legislature has appropriated funds to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for State fiscal year 2024.

      In July 2023, P.L.2023, c.120 was enacted into law, which appropriated funds to the DEP for the purpose of financing approximately $1.78 billion in Storm Sandy and other environmental infrastructure projects through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB) in FY 2024.  This bill would amend the lists of environmental infrastructure projects for which the DEP is appropriated funds pursuant to P.L.2023, c.120 to include new projects, remove projects, modify the priority of certain projects, and modify the loan amounts for certain projects, as enumerated in subsections a. and b. of section 3 of the bill.  As amended by the bill, P.L.2023, c.120 would appropriate to the DEP up to $3.08 billion, and any unexpended balances from previous authorizations, to provide loans to project sponsors for a total of 223 eligible environmental infrastructure projects for FY 2024.  This would include 137 projects on the "Storm Sandy and State Fiscal Year 2024 Clean Water Project Eligibility List" and 70 projects on the "Storm Sandy and State Fiscal Year 2024 Drinking Water Project Eligibility List."

      The bill would also give the DEP the explicit authority to use funds in the “Pinelands Infrastructure Trust Fund” established pursuant to section 14 of the "Pinelands Infrastructure Trust Bond Act of 1985," P.L.1985, c.302, for drinking water projects.  The bill would require such drinking water projects to be funded in accordance with the regulations applicable to the financing of wastewater projects by the Pinelands Infrastructure Trust Fund, unless and until regulations specific to the financing of drinking water projects are promulgated.