Tapping into funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has launched an initiative to provide enhanced technical assistance to help disadvantaged communities provide safe and reliable drinking water to residents.
The New Jersey Technical Assistance Program (NJ-TAP) will assist participating water systems in identifying lead service lines, developing asset management and capital improvement plans, and identifying sources of state and federal funding to assist with important water-quality improvement projects.
NJ-TAP has three major avenues of assistance:
- Lead Assistance helps water systems comply with state law requiring them to develop service line inventories and create a plan to replace lead service lines. This program will help systems apply for a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan.
- General (non-lead) Assistance helps water systems evaluate technical, managerial, and financial capacity; develop an Asset Management Plan; develop a Capital Improvement Plan; and apply for DWSRF loans. Target systems in this category have PFAS issues and/or general state Safe Drinking Water Act compliance issues.
- Community Engagement and Outreach Assistance helps the DEP develop a toolbox of resources that systems and local governments can use for community outreach. This assistance will also help water systems directly engage with their communities to encourage support for water infrastructure upgrades.
NJ-TAP complements New Jersey’s participation in U.S. EPA’s Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerator Program announced in January 2023.