New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, wants more spending on the state's water infrastructure.

Sweeney said during remarks at the New Jersey Utilities Association’s 102nd Annual Conference Friday that a new plan is needed to modernize the state’s drinking water system. He authored a bill with State Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-Plainsboro Township, the “Water Quality Accountability Act” that would boost infrastructure spending.

The legislation, which has passed the Assembly and Senate, would require water companies to annually assess their infrastructure and develop a plan to identify and fund the most needed improvements.

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (left) joined New Jersey Utilities Association president & CEO Andrew Hendry to call for more water infrastructure spending.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (left) joined New Jersey Utilities Association president & CEO Andrew Hendry to call for more water infrastructure spending. New Jersey Senate Democrats

“We need to improve the reliability and safety of the state’s drinking water through early detection of water quality issues, transparent reporting and by making needed infrastructure investments,” said Senator Sweeney. “This is about establishing statewide standards for all water systems that are consistent with the industry’s best practices.”

Andrew Hendry, president & CEO of the New Jersey Utilities Association, noted that the state should prioritize water investments like it did on transportation projects last year. State lawmakers replenished New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund for eight years at $2 billion annually.

“We should have the same vision for water utilities that we have for the transportation infrastructure and recognize the need to make critical investments,” said Hendry. “Senator Sweeney has provided the leadership needed to invest in the state’s infrastructure.”

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