The West Milford Environmental Commission has been applying for and receiving grants from various sources since its inception. With an excellant record of using grant moneys effectively, the Commission plans to continue their efforts in pursuing funding for Township projects. Currently, the Commission is working on grants provided by ANJEC (Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection grants. Listed below are descriptions of these and other grants the Commission has received.
319(h) - Congress amended the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1987 to establish the section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program that authorizes USEPA to grant money to states, territories and Indian tribes to address Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS). Selection of projects to receive section 319(h) funds is conducted by NPS staff, Division of Watershed Management regional staff, as well as a Department wide Technical Review. More information: http://www.nj.gov/dep/watershedmgt/319grant.htm
West Milford currently has received funding for two 319(h) grants.The 2004 319(h) grant is entitled “Section 319h NPS Pollution Control and Management Implementation Grant: Lake Characterization and Restoration Plan for Greenwood Lake” and is budgeted for $152,330 federal funding and $45,724 grantee match (almost entirely in-kind services). The grant focuses on the issue of phosphorus in the New Jersey end of Greenwood Lake and includes in-lake and in-stream monitoring, identification of “hot spots”, a bathymetric survey of the Lake, consulting for and the installation of BMPs (best management practices) and retrofits, as well as a Stormwater Implementation Plan (which includes a list of projects for future implementation funding). Princeton Hydro is the consultant working on the Township’s grant and is keeping the Greenwood Lake Bi-State Commission up to date with the progress. All that remains to complete this grant is the installation of a BMP on Greenwood Lake Turnpike. A new 319(h) grant, very similar in design to West Milford’s 319(h) grant, has recently been approved for the New York end of Greenwood Lake, with Princeton Hydro as the consultant.
The 2007 319(h) grant is entitled "Section 319h NPS Pollution Control and Management Implementation Grant: Initiate Stormwater Implementation Projects for Greenwood Lake" and is budgeted for $913,600 federal funding and $92,010 grantee in-kind services. The grant takes the Stormwater Implementation Plan from the earlier 2004 319(h) grant and begins the proposed recommendations by initiating a set of structural BMP projects to reduce the existing stormwater phosphorus load entering Greenwood Lake. Planning will begin this winter with implementation to begin in 2008.
West Milford has completed the 319(h) grant entitled “Section 319H NPS Pollution Control and Management Implementation Grant Program: NPS Pollution Management Program for the Belcher’s Creek Subwatershed.” Further information can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/watershedmgt/319grant_success_stories.htm
West Milford also is currently involved in a 319(h) grant for a Posts Brook Regional Stormwater Management Plan. Finally, the Pequannock River Coalition has received 2006 319(h) funding for the project on the Westbrook entitled “Demonstration Project to Support TMDL Implementation for the Pequannock River” in the amount of $24,500.
604(b) - The State of New Jersey receives funds under the Section 604(b) of the federal Clean Water Act (Act) to be allocated as pass-through grants to organizations for WQMP (water quality management planning) activities. This year the NJ DEP specifically requested proposals for the purpose of developing management plans for onsite wastewater treatment systems. Priority areas included proposed areas located in the Highlands Preservation Area, areas including lakesheds draining to a public lake, and areas containing proposed or existing TMDLs for phosphorus or fecal coliform. Greenwood Lake has a TMDL (total maximum daily load) for phosphorus. For information: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/watershedmgt/604grant_sfy2006.htm
The West Milford Environmental Commission received a 604b grant in the amount of $108,217 from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Division of Watershed Management entitled “Development of an Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) Management Plan for the New Jersey End of the Greenwood Lake Watershed, Passaic County, New Jersey." OWTS, such as septic systems, are known to be a net source of several pollutants, including phosphorus and fecal coliform. Water quality sampling of Belchers Creek, the main inlet entering Greenwood Lake, indicates that fecal coliform levels are excessive and frequently exceed the State standard. The grant, through a number of tasks, will develop and initiate a long-term management plan to reduce the pollutant loads. New York has a similar project occurring on the New York end of Greenwood Lake. A copy of the final draft report completed in December 2011 is available for review on the Forms and Documents section of the Township Website, under Environmental Commission.
ANJEC - The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions is a statewide non-profit organization that informs and supports environmental commissions and other local boards and officials in their efforts to protect the environment and preserve quality of life in their towns. See http://www.anjec.org With generous funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, ANJEC has been providing matching funds through its Smart Growth Planning Grant Program. The West Milford Environmental Commission has received a 2007 grant in the amount of $7,500 for a "Green Infrastructure Study and Plan for West Milford Lake." The dam for West Milford Lake has been determined to be unsafe by the NJ DEP Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Control, and plans are being made by the State to permanently breech it. The Commission has been holding open public meetings to discuss possible scenarious for the lakes future. The final meeting was held February 4, 2008, 6:30p.m. at Town Hall. The final plan has been presented to the Planning Board and the Township Council and the report is available for download.
A 2010 Smart Growth Planning Assistance Grant has been received for the development of a Trails Master Plan which will provide a compilation of interconnecting trails and pathways throughout the Township. The Township and Environmental Commission have secured White Environmental Services as the consultant for the project. Several other entities, including representatives from the NY/NJ Trails Conference and Jorba (Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association) are assisting with identification and mapping information.
URBAN FORESTRY - The County of Passaic awarded two Urban Forestry Demonstration Project grants to the Township Environmental Commission. The Town Center Tree Planting and Landscape grant has purchased and planted thirty three trees of various species along Ridge Road from Union Valley Road to the First Aid Squad and around the Township Municipal Building, Veterans Park and library. The other grant was originally used for a preparation of an inventory of forest resources, as well as the purchase of 122 white pines used for a reforestation project, and the repair of the township Environmental Boardwalk.