News Feature | February 19, 2018

'Dysfunctional' Trenton Utility Promises Fixes

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,
@sarmje

lower trenton bridge reg new

New Jersey is giving Trenton more time to fix the problems at the utility in its capital city.

“If Trenton has failed to meet critical deadlines in the past, why does the state think that will change in the future? In a head-scratching move, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) entered into a contract with the city, allowing for an extension for Trenton to fix its constant and growing issues at Trenton Water Works (TWW),” The Trentonian reported, calling the utility “dysfunctional.”

“The administrative consent order will push back a timeline for Trenton to fix infrastructure, staffing, operational and public notification that have hampered the public utility over the past year and put at-risk 225,000 customers who drink the water,” the report continued.

A consent order delays the deadline for Trenton to fix its staffing and infrastructure problems.

“A 16-page administrative consent order signed by Mayor Eric Jackson resolves violations issued by the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to Trenton Water Works, most recently on January 5, and sets out an improvement plan,” NJ Advance Media reported.

“The consent order directs Trenton Water Works to fill staff vacancies, with an expedited timeline for positions deemed especially crucial. It sets an April 30 deadline for submitting preliminary designs aimed at improving the water treatment plant,” the report said.

New Jersey’s top environmental regulator had alleged that failures at Trenton’s water utility could pose a threat to public health. Bob Martin, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, raised the issue in a letter this month to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, according to The Trentonian.

“The City’s inability or unwillingness to act with the urgency the current situation requires potentially puts at risk the health of the 225,000 people Trenton Water Works serves in the City of Trenton and in Ewing, Hamilton, Lawrence and Hopewell townships,” the letter said.

Image credit: “Trenton makes, the world takes," © 2013 DearEdward, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/