Ventnor, a city in New Jersey, has recently approved a $22 million bond ordinance to fund the initial phase of a lead pipe replacement program. The total cost of replacing pipes in the city is estimated to be around $66 million, according to Mayor Lance Landgraf. The bond ordinance was necessary for the city to begin applying for available grant funding, including through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank Financing Program’s iBank and the US Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other state and federal resources.
Mayor Landgraf acknowledged that the cost of the project is significant, but emphasized the importance of addressing the issue. The initiative is in response to legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2021, which requires municipal, private, and publicly traded water systems to inventory their service lines and replace those made of lead or other harmful materials by July 22, 2031. The aim is to mitigate potential lead poisoning and the resulting health hazards associated with galvanized piping.
A report from the state Office of Legislative Services revealed that there are approximately 2.4 million service lines across 582 water systems in New Jersey. The report projected that the cost to local governments of replacing every lead service line within 10 years would amount to approximately $2.65 billion, with the state contributing over $2 billion towards these replacements.
Ventnor is not the only city in New Jersey taking action to comply with the state-mandated lead pipe replacement program. Brigantine has also initiated its own program by awarding an $81,000 contract to evaluate the city’s needs.
The issue of lead pipes and their potential health risks has gained attention across the country in recent years. Lead exposure can have severe health consequences, particularly for children, including developmental delays and learning disabilities. By addressing this issue promptly, municipalities in New Jersey are prioritizing the health and safety of their residents.
The approval of the bond ordinance in Ventnor marks a significant step forward in ensuring clean and safe drinking water for its residents. With the availability of grant funding and support from state and federal resources, the city is now well-positioned to commence the lead pipe replacement program.
More detail via Press of Atlantic City here… ( Image via Press of Atlantic City )