NJ Spotlight Roundtable focuses on water infrastructure

John Mooney, right, founding editor of NJSpotlight, opens the first panel at the June 20 Water Conference. Panelists, from left, are: Chris Sturm, Senior Director of State Policy, NJ Future; Christopher Riat, Senior Director, Contract Operations, United Water; Charles Norkis, Executive Director, Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority; and Kate Anderson, Chief, Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, Clean Water Regulatory Branch

Panelists at a roundtable hosted by NJSpotlight, the online news service, focused on challenges facing New Jersey’s water infrastructure during a daylong conference in Trenton June 20.

New Jersey’s water systems revealed the extent of their vulnerability during Hurricane Sandy, suffering $2.6 billion in damage. But even before the superstorm, the needs were daunting. A blue-ribbon panel last year recommended that New Jersey invest $44 billion over the next five years to address problems with its water infrastructure.

The StateBroadcastNews.com division of the Lubetkin Media Companies provided video coverage of the two panels and keynote remarks. You can watch the videos in the players below, or on the NJSpotlight.com website.

Panel 1: FIXING NEW JERSEY’S WATER SYSTEMS

A blue-ribbon panel last year recommended New Jersey invest $44 billion over the next five years to address problems with its water infrastructure. This discussion will address issues related to those problems, including needed upgrades, increased funding, impending federal mandates, and securing New Jersey’s economic competitiveness.

PANELISTS:

Kate Anderson, Chief, Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, Clean Water Regulatory Branch
Charles Norkis, Executive Director, Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority
Christopher Riat, Senior Director, Contract Operations, United Water
Chris Sturm, Senior Director of State Policy, NJ Future

Panel 2: DRINKING WATER: WILL WE HAVE ENOUGH?
New Jersey has not updated its water supply master plan in years. In the meantime, parts of the state are facing deficits, and supplies are threatened from overdevelopment. This discussion will look at the threats to ensuring clean water supply for state residents and businesses.

PANELISTS:
Pam Carolan, Executive Director, Mount Laurel Township Municipal Utilities Authority
Tim Dillingham, Executive Director, American Littoral Society
L. Stanton Hales, Director, Program Director, Barnegat Bay Partnership
Senator Bob Smith, Chair, New Jersey Senate Environment & Energy Committee
Daniel Van Abs, Associate Professor at Rutgers University and Former Senior Director For Planning and Science at Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council

LUNCHTIME KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Daniel Van Abs, Lead investigator on New Jersey Future’s recent report, Ripple Effects: The State of Water Infrastructure in New Jersey Cities and Why It Matters. Van Abs is also Associate Professor at Rutgers University and Former Senior Director For Planning and Science at Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council.

About NJ Spotlight

NJ Spotlight is an online news service that delivers insight and information on issues critical to New Jersey, with the aim of informing and engaging the state’s communities and businesses. It is nonpartisan, independent, policy-centered, and community-minded.

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