(21 / P019) TRENTON As part of the Murphy Administration’s continued commitment to infrastructure investments that improve public health, protect the environment, and create green jobs, New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank), in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 122, Acting DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette and I-Bank Chairman Robert Briant Jr. announced today that US $ 5 million of AAA / Aaa-rated environmental infrastructure bonds have been sold.
“As New Jersey recovers from the pandemic, we must seize the opportunity to create family-sustaining green jobs that enable our residents to rebuild the critical water infrastructure our state needs to protect our environment and public health.” Acting DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said. “Through DEP’s incredible partnership with I-Bank, we are joining forces to create New Jersey Water Bank, which provides innovative and affordable finance for water suppliers and local governments to make investments that benefit the common good.”
The bonds, issued last week as green bonds with maturities through 2050 and an average effective interest rate of 1.875%, are leveraging interest-free DEP loans to provide a total of $ 386 million for projects funded by the Water Bank, which is estimated 4,630 direct construction projects creates jobs across the country. The water bank finances projects to improve and protect water quality and to address public health problems by replacing and modernizing existing infrastructure.
Projects funded include green infrastructure, improvements in the collection and treatment of sewage systems, improvements in drinking water treatment and distribution, and projects to reduce or eliminate the combined sewage overflows that too often plague environmental justice communities. These projects are creating well-paying green jobs that will help New Jersey recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – a top priority for the Murphy administration. Projects funded in this water bank’s most recent funding round include:
- Sewerage Passaic Valley, $ 6.5 million, improvements to increase wet weather treatment capacity, thereby reducing the frequency and duration of mixed water overflows in member communities;
- Plumsted Township, $ 22.8 million, build a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant to clean up failing wastewater treatment plants;
- Little Egg Harbor Public Utilities, $ 6.1 million projects to replace aging drinking water lines and build a new drinking water treatment facility to increase system capacity and resilience;
- Camden County Public Utilities$ 72 million, improvements to the sludge digester at the wastewater treatment plant to reduce the amount of sludge produced and produce enough biogas to meet 50 percent of the wastewater treatment plant’s electricity needs.
“The recent sale of Green Bonds is another successful conclusion to the hard work of DEP and I-Bank staff to facilitate the construction of so many critical water projects in our state.” said I-Bank Chairman Robert Briant Jr. “The program’s ability to fund an additional $ 50 million in projects through the new interest subsidy method is an excellent achievement that is calling on taxpayers to help create 600 more jobs for the New Jersey construction industry.”
Working with DEP, I-Bank took advantage of the market’s current low interest rates to develop a new funding method to maximize the state’s limited drinking water funds. Instead of the DEP only providing traditional interest-free loans from SRF funds for drinking water, DEP funds were used to subsidize the interest on additional I-Bank bonds issued, thereby reducing the amount of funds needed by the DEP and using those funds for funding Future projects were released.
This new methodology enabled the DEP to fund $ 33 million drinking water projects with just $ 9 million. The $ 24 million savings will be used with funds from I-Bank to provide an additional $ 45 to 50 million for new drinking water projects in the coming year. These savings will be critical to helping new applicants tackle their water projects with the program’s low rates.
I-Bank and DEP were able to accomplish this by using a portion of the $ 50 million in funds that lawmakers allocated to the drinking water SRF program and signed by Governor Murphy this fiscal year.
For more information about the New Jersey Water Bank, including funding priorities and application information, please visit: https://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/mface_njeifp.htm
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June 10, 2021, 4:57 pm GMT
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