Organizations, individuals, coalitions and collaboratives, worked tirelessly to submit comments on the combined sewer overflow (CSO) Long Term Control Plans (LTCPs) to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) before the January 31 deadline. The people who live, work, and own businesses in these communities experience the impacts of these antiquated sewer systems and will pay for the upgrades. And they have a lot to say about these plans.
The Sewage-Free Streets and Rivers campaign submitted general comments, endorsed by 21 organizations from across New Jersey, focused on the following issues:
- Improving water quality and access.
- Making environmental justice part of all aspects of these plans.
- Ensuring equitable financing of these plans.
- Implementing a green infrastructure first approach.
- Informing, engaging, and empowering communities.
- Using the most recent climate change data in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of these plans.
Other collaboratives such as the Jersey Water Works CSO committee, and municipal action teams like Perth Amboy SWIM (Stormwater Infrastructure Management), JC START (Jersey City Stormwater Treatment and Resiliency Team), and NewakDIG (Doing Infrastructure Green) also submitted comments. Community-based organizations in Jersey City came together to submit joint comments, and many individual organizations like New Jersey Future, New Jersey Clean Water Action, NJ/NY Baykeeper, the Passaic River Coalition, Morris Park Neighborhood Association, South Ward Environmental Alliance, the Urban Systems Lab, and the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions submitted comments.
Read comments submitted by the following organizations:
- Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions
- Jersey Water Works CSO committee
- Jersey City group comments
- Morris Park Neighborhood Association
- New Jersey Future
- New Jersey Tree Foundation
- The Passaic River Coalition
- Perth Amboy SWIM (Stormwater Infrastructure Management)
- South Ward Environmental Alliance
The NJDEP is now considering the public comments that were submitted as they complete their review of the CSO Long Term Control Plans. The NJDEP may ask CSO permit holders to make changes to their plans before they are approved. Once the plans are approved, the NJDEP will issue another round of five-year CSO permits based on the final LTCPs. The need for public input does not end here. There will be an official public input period for the next round of CSO permits and the people who live, work, and own businesses in these communities must have a voice in the implementation of these plans.