Lake Hopatcong’s toxic algae bloom renews fight over stormwater law derided as ‘rain tax’

storm drain

SCOTT FALLON / NORTHJERSEY.COM – The severity of toxic algae blooms like the one affecting popular Lake Hopatcong could be minimized if more New Jersey towns impose fees on property owners to pay for upgrades that reduce runoff into lakes and rivers, environmentalists say.

But some of the most ardent critics of a new state law that allows the fees to be collected through local stormwater utilities are legislators who represent communities surrounding Lake Hopatcong and other popular lakes and rivers in northwest New Jersey.

Those legislators are urging towns to reject what they call a “rain tax.” They say allowing towns to create their own stormwater utility is another level of government that is unneeded in a state with 565 municipalities and 21 counties …

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