The following categories of projects are eligible for funding under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program:
Green projects consist of clean water and drinking water projects that implement green infrastructure and water or energy efficiency improvements (those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for example). Green infrastructure includes such practices as replacing existing pavement with porous pavement, utilizing bioretention, constructing green roofs, creating rain gardens, and other practices that mimic natural hydrology and increase effective perviousness.
Upgrading inadequate wastewater infrastructure is a priority for many municipal governments and utilities. Most projects associated with sewage collection, treatment or disposal are eligible for financing, including correction of inflow/infiltration problems, sludge management and combined sewer overflows.
Proper wastewater treatment ensures valuable water resources remain clean and usable. Deficient wastewater treatment could significantly harm New Jersey’s waters and create serious public health hazards as well as adversely affect New Jersey’s economy.
If your community has wastewater problems such as leaking pipes, inadequate capacity, deficient treatment, combined sewer overflows, failing septic systems, or sludge disposal problems, the Water Bank financing program can help.
Correcting combined sewer overflows presents a particularly significant challenge to financially stretched urban communities. The Water Bank can help these municipalities and utilities achieve federal and state environmental improvement goals.
Eligible projects include:
Eligible projects include construction, expansion or replacement of stormwater management systems, construction or expansion of basins, replacement of storm drains and rehabilitation of tide gates and extension of outfall points.
Non-point source pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, can come from many different sources. Stormwater runoff carries pollutants into our streams, rivers, reservoirs and other bodies of water.
An estimated 60 percent of current water pollution is attributed to stormwater runoff. Non-point source pollution can contaminate drinking water, destroy wildlife habitat, close beaches, kill fish and cause many other serious environmental and public health problems. Every year, millions of dollars are spent to restore and protect areas damaged by non-point source pollutants.
Nonpoint Source Pollution/Stormwater Management Projects that are eligible for funding through the Water Bank include:
Such as street sweepers, sewer flushing and cleaning equipment, dump trucks, crawler loaders, skimmer boats, aquatic weed harvesters and outfall netting may be financed under the Water Bank Program.
Projects such as manure/feedlot management, stream and lake bank stabilization, lake dredging and restoration and salt dome construction are eligible project types.
The cleanup of abandoned and contaminated industrial sites is eligible for financing if a local or county government assumes the repayment obligation for the loan. The Program will finance the removal of contaminated soil, site-capping and the installation of stormwater controls.
There are more than 10,000 properties in New Jersey that are or may be contaminated with hazardous substances and are either sitting idle or are underutilized. These Brownfield sites threaten the environment, drain the economy and spoil quality of life in many of our communities. Brownfields exist in suburban and rural areas as well as in urban communities.
Returning Brownfield sites to productive use protects the environment and preserves open space. Every acre of Brownfield redevelopment spares 4.5 acres of pristine land from development. Brownfield redevelopment also boosts local tax revenue, creates jobs, revitalizes New Jersey’s cities and towns, and improves the quality of life for area residents.
The Water Bank provides loans to municipalities, counties and public authorities to support a wide range of cleanup and remediation activities necessary to restore the Brownfield site for re-use.
Failing septic systems can contaminate ground water and surface water, creating a public health hazard. While many individual septic systems are privately owned, situations involving numerous system failures may be eligible for funding. In such cases, a governing body or utilities authority may establish a Septic Management District to apply for financing for planning and corrective measure costs. Eligible projects include the purchase and installation of traditional or alternative septic systems (to replace failing systems), rehabilitation of an existing system or construction of community systems.
Projects designed to improve security at otherwise funding eligible wastewater and drinking water facilities are also eligible for funding, including but not limited to fencing, lighting, motion detectors, cameras, secure doors, and alternative auxiliary power sources.
Sealing an old landfill or constructing a new cell to prevent, reduce or control leachate, its storage and/or treatment are eligible for financing. Other Program eligible activities include capping systems, liners, leachate collection systems, treatment systems, sewer connections, barge shelters, containment booms, litter fences, gas collection and treatment systems, monitoring wells and reclamation or reduction activities.
In view of the potential to seriously impair water quality, landfills are now an eligible category for financing under the Water Bank. Given that many components of landfill construction and closure restore or protect water quality, significant portions of these projects are eligible to receive low-cost loans through the Water Bank Financing Program.
The Water Bank provides financing to publicly owned landfills for construction and closure projects that prevent, reduce, control or treat leachate.
Since 2005, the Water Bank has issued more than $400 million to spur redevelopment in New Jersey’s urban areas. The key elements of the program are summarized as follows:
Funding through the Water Bank is only available to local government units or private water purveyors. Historically, redevelopment loans have been made to the city or county sponsor of the redevelopment project which in turn has a side agreement with the redeveloper(s). The city or county sponsor must satisfy the Water Bank's credit worthiness requirements as well as provide a general obligation pledge as part of the loan agreements. Sponsors lacking an investment grade credit rating should contact program representatives to discuss possible exceptions.
A critical element to redevelopment project eligibility is the location of the project. Currently, the program requires that the project be located in a designated brownfields development area, transit village, transfer development rights receiving area, growth area endorsed by the State Planning Commission, or otherwise consistent with the “Garden State Values” provisions of the State Strategic Plan.
Funding through the Water Bank is available for the portion of the redevelopment project that improves, rehabilitates or protects water quality. Specifically, direct redevelopment costs including demolition, sheeting, capping, surcharges, and other engineering controls that have a direct water quality benefit are allowable. However, if a redeveloper seeks to construct an 8″ concrete slab and the water quality benefit could be achieved through a one-foot earthen cap of lesser cost, the program would fund only the cost of the earthen cap. In addition, financing is available for numerous redevelopment activities pertaining to wastewater and drinking water. For example, if a project requires replacing sanitary sewer mains in a public right-of-way, the program will finance the pipe and excavation as well as repavement from curb to curb. Note, funding is available for permitting, legal, design and other soft costs, but not available for the portion of improvements which will reside in private ownership.
Since 2007, $40 million has been made available each year for redevelopment loans to Eligible Borrowers for Eligible Projects. Loans are available for a term equal to the lesser of a project’s useful life or thirty (30) years. In recent years, loans have an interest rate that is 50% of the AAA market rate. No funding is available for construction commenced prior to application approval.
Funds are disbursed for eligible and approved project costs based on the receipt of requisitions including backup invoices for all construction activities. Eligible project costs are approved as a component of the application approval process and redevelopers are advised that if the actual cost of a project component is less than the project eligible cost (typically construction underruns), surplus costs may not be applied to other project activities.
Preserving open land that maintains or enhances the quality of surface or ground water may be financed under the Program. Eligible areas include stream headwaters and corridors, wetlands, and aquifer recharge areas. Financing for land is compatible with the Green Acres Program, the Garden State Preservation Trust, and Open Space programs financed by local and county Open Space taxes.
Open space preservation is essential to protecting and enhancing the quality of life in New Jersey’s communities. Poorly designed development threatens our precious water supplies and other vital natural resources by increasing the amount of pavement and impervious cover, preventing rainfall from replenishing underground aquifers.
Preserving open space protects land from development, safeguards our water supplies and other natural resources and provides outdoor recreational opportunities. An acquisition financed through the Water Bank must demonstrate a water quality benefit. Headwaters, stream corridors, wetlands, watershed protection, and aquifer recharge areas are among the types of land that would qualify.
While lands purchased through the Water Bank cannot be developed, they may be used for passive recreational activities, such as hiking, fishing and horseback riding. Application of a conservation easement on funded parcels assures that the water quality benefits are preserved.
The Water Bank works closely with the Green Acres Program to maximize a community’s limited funds for land acquisition. Through this partnership, municipalities can receive the resources necessary to purchase larger and/or more expensive parcels before they are lost to development.
If only a portion of a parcel is eligible for funding through the Water Bank, the remaining portion of the land can be financed through open space acquisition programs such as Green Acres or local programs funded by county and municipal open space taxes.
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