New Jersey legislators voted Wednesday to award a $10,000 grant to a local nonprofit that is helping people clean up contaminated water in their neighborhoods.
The Statehouse in Trenton voted 9-2 in favor of awarding the $10.5 million grant for the Hudson Valley Environmental Partnership, which will provide $1.5 billion to support the cleanup effort, according to state news agency NJ.
The $10-million grant will go to a nonprofit called Hudson Valley Cleanup, which was established by the state’s Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, in 2014.
The organization will also be providing technical assistance to state officials in identifying and removing contaminated groundwater, which can lead to cancer and other serious health conditions, according the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The funding will help clean up the region’s septic systems, and Murphy is expected to sign off on the grant as soon as he receives it.
The money will be used to help with remediation of wastewater and wastewater treatment, which is expected the funding will cover the first three years of the grant.
New Jersey’s water supply has been contaminated with thousands of gallons of the toxic chemical chloramine, which has been linked to birth defects in children.
In December, the state passed a new law allowing water utilities to dump toxic waste at their facilities.
Murphy signed the bill into law.
Critics have said the new law gives municipalities the right to dump chemicals at their own expense, which could allow for more than half of the money to go to private companies that are more likely to act on contamination.
The new law also requires companies that dump chloramine to install emergency response systems, which are more expensive and time-consuming than the state requires.
Murphy’s administration has been criticized for allowing the law to go into effect before the new state data show how it will affect residents and businesses.
New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, also signed the law Wednesday, which allows the state to sell off its septic tank capacity for up to $500,000, and the New York City Department of Health has also agreed to sell its water-treatment system to a private company for $500 million.
A state commission has estimated the bill will cost New York about $4.5 to $5 billion.
Murphy has said the state is looking at a $100 million appropriation to help fund the cleanup.