Working to prevent the flooding that has repeatedly caused so much costly damage to communities in the Passaic River Basin, legislation that would allocate $3 million for flood control work was approved by the Senate on Thursday and sent to the governor.
Sponsored by Senator Paul Sarlo, the bill, S-1781/A-2675, would re-appropriate $3 million from the states “Dam, Lake, Stream, Flood Control, Water Resources and Wastewater Treatment Project Bond Act of 2003” to dredge the lower Passaic River to help prevent and control flooding. The funds were made available due to savings and deferrals on other projects.
“The Passaic River Basin has repeatedly caused destructive damage to flood-prone communities over the years and Superstorm Sandy added to this history of destruction,” said Senator Sarlo. “We have to act to do what we can to prevent future flooding, to help limit the damage and to aid the victims. This funding will help communities in the area protect themselves.”
Senator Sarlo said the towns that would be helped include North Arlington, Lyndhurst, Rutherford, East Rutherford and Wallington, communities that have experienced serious flooding over the years and suffered severe damage from Superstorm Sandy.
Working to find additional ways to prevent and mitigate flooding in the region, Senator Sarlo introduced separate legislation that would expand the role of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission to include flood control. The focus would be on the Hackensack River, Berry’s Creek and the cities and towns exposed to their flood waters, including North Arlington, Lyndhurst, Rutherford, East Rutherford, Carlstadt, Wood-Ridge, Moonachie, Teterboro, Little Ferry, South Hackensack and Ridgefield.
“The Meadowlands Commission has a regional responsibility and experience that should be utilized to help with flood control,” said Senator Sarlo. “Flooding has become an increasingly-serious problem in the district so we should make sure that the skills and resources of the commission are used to help these communities.”
The bill would require that the master plan include flood-control provisions.
Senator Sarlo said that he would continue to work with state officials and FEMA on Sandy recovery and to help the towns still recovering from the storm protect themselves against future storms and the flooding they trigger.
“I will continue to work with state and federal officials to make sure that their commitment to recovery continues to include towns in this area,” said Senator Sarlo. “This includes preventive efforts as well as recovery work.”
Press Release, July 1, 2013