HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey’s water system could receive a boost under proposed legislation set to be introduced in Washington this week.
New Jersey Senators Cory Booker, Robert Menendez and Rep. Bill Pascrell announced a plan Monday to reintroduce legislation that would remove caps on private activity bonds for water improvement projects, WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported.
“We can do better than aging water mains bursting, flooding out neighborhoods and disrupting services and businesses,” Menendez said.
Officials also added that the state has pipes that “predate the civil war.”
The move comes a preventative measure, as to avoid issues like those in Flint, Michigan, where a water source switch resulted in mass lead contamination for residents.
According to New Jersey community development group Isles, children in several New Jersey communities have levels of lead in their blood that is comparable, if not higher, to those of children in Flint. The group points out that lead contamination in children can also occur from lead-based paint and other factors besides drinking water.
According to Booker, the move would free up billions, which will help in the long run.
“If we invest the money proactively, we are going to save a tremendous amount of money later,” Booker said.