Is NJ ready for water-use fee to fund billions in upgrades of aging infrastructure?

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broken water pipes

TOM JOHNSON / NJ SPOTLIGHT – It has never won support in the past, but a state senator is reviving a decades-old bill that would impose a fee on water use to fund the rebuilding of New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure.

In late June, Sen. Bob Smith introduced a two-bill package that aims to provide a stable and dedicated source of funding to fix leaking water mains, replace lead service lines, acquire watershed land and wetlands, and supply drinking water to areas whose supplies are contaminated.

Few would argue with the need. By various projections, New Jersey needs to spend $8 billion to fix its drinking water infrastructure, and roughly quadruple that to upgrade sewage treatment plants and stormwater systems …

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