AEA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
What’s the real story behind the Water Infrastructure Protection Act? Its supporters say the bill is all about fixing New Jersey’s distressed water and wastewater infrastructure. They note that many systems are in bad shape, and they say that WIPA will provide the funds to fix them, to promote economic growth, and to create jobs.
That is not the whole story, though. That narrative doesn’t explain why the bill (A3628) came about and who championed it. It does not explain that municipalities already have access to “private investment” and that WIPA removes from the sales process useful “checks and balances” that protect the public interest. Removing them has profound implications for how systems are controlled, how transparent their management will be, and how much ratepayers pay. The narrative suggests (wrongly) that WIPA is the only solution that will ensure economic growth and jobs. Here’s a broader perspective: