FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 21, 2022
For More Information Contact Dan Timmeny, Business Manager, 201-670-5520
MAYOR KNUDSEN ANNOUNCES $2.8 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING RELIEF TO RATE PAYERS FOR CLEAN DRINKING WATER
VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD – Mayor Susan Knudsen announced that the Village of Ridgewood has been approved for a direct grant in 2022 in the amount of $2,800,000 from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) as a result of being one of Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s and Senator Bob Menendez’s Community Funding Projects.
The $2.8 million funds will be used as a direct revenue offset for 2022 planned capital expenses of $3.5 million for the drinking water treatment facilities construction project known as the Ravine Treatment Plant. Scheduled for completion in 2023, the Ravine Treatment Plant will provide a regional solution to treat Ridgewood Water’s drinking water for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in the local raw water drinking sources.
“Ridgewood Water customers will be the benefactors of one of the largest singular and direct clean water funding items in support of the region’s most important water treatment initiative,” Mayor Knudsen said.
Knudsen further explained that, “The Village of Ridgewood and all of the residents of New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District are fortunate to have Senator Menendez and Congressman Gottheimer in Congress with their extensive knowledge on clean drinking water issues and problem solving around financial matters fighting to bring home this Federal funding.”
The grant for the Ravine Treatment Plant capital project, to be funded by a State and Tribal Assistance Grant (STAG), was brought to the attention of Congressman Josh Gottheimer and Senator Menendez by Mayor Knudsen last year as a result of her ongoing efforts to seek funding for Ridgewood Water customers in support of drinking water projects that will reduce the cost burden created by PFAS contamination to rate payers throughout the Ridgewood Water territory (Glen Rock, Midland Park, Ridgewood, Wyckoff). The elected leaders continuously advanced this project to ensure that this funding was included in the original federal appropriations and then throughout the myriad of changes and revisions until it reached the President’s desk.
Knudsen added, “Without this federal assistance, this expensive treatment cost would have been placed solely on the Ridgewood Water consumers who draw from the Brunswick Aquifer. No family should need to singularly bear the financial brunt of this necessary infrastructure modernization as neither the utility nor the customers are responsible for placing this contaminant in the raw water source.”
This project will help ensure that Ridgewood Water meets NJ DEP and US EPA standards for PFAS contaminants by bringing the system to non-detection levels. PFAS contamination affects several municipalities in North Jersey, including those serviced by Ridgewood. The problem is pervasive, regional and singularly one of the most expensive
treatment projects taken on by a publicly owned utility of this size in recent history in New Jersey.
Knudsen acknowledged, “The Village of Ridgewood is grateful to have the services of Director Rich Calbi and the staff of Ridgewood Water for quickly applying to and complying with this grant process, for their expertise in this area and for all of their work to ensure that our drinking water meets or exceeds the standards set by our public health officials.”
President Joe Biden signed H.R. 2471 (“Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022”) into law on March 15, 2022, which included the STAG for “Ridgewood Water Drinking Water Treatment Facilities Construction.” Community Funding Project is a new initiative for Fiscal Year 2022 that will allow Members of Congress to request direct funding for projects that benefit the communities they represent.
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