CHAPTER 223

 

An Act concerning environmental infrastructure projects, and amending P.L.1985, c.334 and P.L.1997, c.224.


    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


    1.    Section 3 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-3) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-3 Definitions relative to the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.

    3.    As used in sections 1 through 27 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 through 58:11B-27) and sections 23 through 27 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.):

    "Bonds" means bonds issued by the trust pursuant to P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    "Combined sewer system" means a sewer system designed to carry sanitary wastewater at all times, which is also designed to collect and transport stormwater runoff from streets and other sources, thereby serving a combined purpose;

    "Combined sewer overflow" means the discharge of untreated or partially treated stormwater runoff and wastewater from a combined sewer system into a body of water;

    "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection;

    "Cost" means the cost of all labor, materials, machinery and equipment, lands, property, rights and easements, financing charges, interest on bonds, notes or other obligations, plans and specifications, surveys or estimates of costs and revenues, engineering and legal services, and all other expenses necessary or incident to all or part of an environmental infrastructure project;

    "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection;

    "Local government unit" means (1) a State authority, county, municipality, municipal, county or regional sewerage or utility authority, municipal sewerage district, joint meeting, improvement authority, or any other political subdivision of the State authorized to construct, operate and maintain wastewater treatment systems; or (2) a State authority, district water supply commission, county, municipality, municipal, county or regional utilities authority, municipal water district, joint meeting or any other political subdivision of the State authorized pursuant to law to operate or maintain a public water supply system or to construct, rehabilitate, operate or maintain water supply facilities or otherwise provide water for human consumption;

    "Notes" means notes issued by the trust pursuant to P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    "Project" or "environmental infrastructure project" means the acquisition, construction, improvement, repair or reconstruction of all or part of any structure, facility or equipment, or real or personal property necessary for or ancillary to any (1) wastewater treatment system project, including any stormwater management or combined sewer overflow abatement projects; or (2) water supply project, as authorized pursuant to P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    "Public water utility" means any investor-owned water company or small water company;

    "Small water company" means any company, purveyor or entity, other than a governmental agency, that provides water for human consumption and which regularly serves less than 1,000 customer connections, including nonprofit, noncommunity water systems owned or operated by a nonprofit group or organization;

    "Stormwater management system" means any equipment, plants, structures, machinery, apparatus, management practices, or land, or any combination thereof, acquired, used, constructed, implemented or operated to prevent nonpoint source pollution, abate improper cross-connections and interconnections between stormwater and sewer systems, minimize stormwater runoff, reduce soil erosion, or induce groundwater recharge, or any combination thereof;

    "Trust" means the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust created pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-4);

    "Wastewater" means residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural liquid waste, sewage, septage, stormwater runoff, or any combination thereof, or other liquid residue discharged or collected into a sewer system or stormwater management system, or any combination thereof;

    "Wastewater treatment system" means any equipment, plants, structures, machinery, apparatus, or land, or any combination thereof, acquired, used, constructed or operated by, or on behalf of, a local government unit for the storage, collection, reduction, recycling, reclamation, disposal, separation, or other treatment of wastewater or sewage sludge, or for the collection or treatment, or both, of stormwater runoff and wastewater, or for the final disposal of residues resulting from the treatment of wastewater, including, but not limited to, pumping and ventilating stations, treatment plants and works, connections, outfall sewers, interceptors, trunk lines, stormwater management systems, and other personal property and appurtenances necessary for their use or operation; "wastewater treatment system" shall include a stormwater management system or a combined sewer system;

    "Wastewater treatment system project" means any work relating to the acquisition, construction, improvement, repair or reconstruction of all or part of any structure, facility or equipment, or real or personal property necessary for or ancillary to any wastewater treatment system that meets the requirements set forth in sections 20, 21 and 22 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-20, 58:11B-21 and 58:11B-22); or any work relating to any of the stormwater management or combined sewer overflow abatement projects identified in the stormwater management and combined sewer overflow abatement project priority list adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 28 of P.L.1989, c.181; or any work relating to any other project eligible for financing under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (33 U.S.C. s.1251 et seq.), or any amendatory or supplementary acts thereto;

    "Water supply facilities" means and refers to the real property and the plants, structures, interconnections between existing water supply facilities, machinery and equipment and other property, real, personal and mixed, acquired, constructed or operated, or to be acquired, constructed or operated, in whole or in part, by or on behalf of a public water utility, or by or on behalf of the State or a local government unit, for the purpose of augmenting the natural water resources of the State and making available an increased supply of water for all uses, or of conserving existing water resources, and any and all appurtenances necessary, useful or convenient for the collecting, impounding, storing, improving, treating, filtering, conserving or transmitting of water, and for the preservation and protection of these resources and facilities, whether in public or private ownership, and providing for the conservation and development of future water supply resources, and facilitating incidental recreational uses thereof;

    "Water supply project" means any work relating to the acquisition, construction, improvement, repair or reconstruction of all or part of any structure, facility or equipment, or real or personal property necessary for or ancillary to water supply facilities that meets the requirements set forth in sections 24, 25 and 26 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-20.1, C.58:11B-21.1 and C.58:11B-22.1); or any work relating to the purposes set forth in section 4 of P.L.1981, c.261; or any work relating to any other project eligible for funding pursuant to the federal "Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996" Pub.L.104-182, and any amendatory and supplementary acts thereto.


    2.    Section 5 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-5) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-5 Powers of authority.

    5.    Except as otherwise limited by the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.), the trust may:

    a.    Make and alter bylaws for its organization and internal management and, subject to agreements with holders of its bonds, notes or other obligations, make rules and regulations with respect to its operations, properties and facilities;

    b.    Adopt an official seal and alter it;

    c.    Sue and be sued;

    d.    Make and enter into all contracts, leases and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the exercise of its powers under the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.), and subject to any agreement with the holders of the trust's bonds, notes or other obligations, consent to any modification, amendment or revision of any contract, lease or agreement to which the trust is a party;

    e.    Enter into agreements or other transactions with and accept, subject to the provisions of section 23 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-23), grants, appropriations and the cooperation of the State, or any State agency, in furtherance of the purposes of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.), and do anything necessary in order to avail itself of that aid and cooperation;

    f.    Receive and accept aid or contributions from any source of money, property, labor or other things of value, to be held, used and applied to carry out the purposes of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.), subject to the conditions upon which that aid and those contributions may be made, including, but not limited to, gifts or grants from any department or agency of the State, or any State agency, for any purpose consistent with the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.), subject to the provisions of section 23 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-23);

    g.    Acquire, own, hold, construct, improve, rehabilitate, renovate, operate, maintain, sell, assign, exchange, lease, mortgage or otherwise dispose of real and personal property, or any interest therein, in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    h.    Appoint and employ an executive director and any other officers or employees as it may require for the performance of its duties, without regard to the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes;

    i.     Borrow money and issue bonds, notes and other obligations, and secure the same, and provide for the rights of the holders thereof as provided in the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    j.     Subject to any agreement with holders of its bonds, notes or other obligations, invest moneys of the trust not required for immediate use, including proceeds from the sale of any bonds, notes or other obligations, in any obligations, securities and other investments in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Investment Council or as may otherwise be approved by the Director of the Division of Investment in the Department of the Treasury upon a finding that such investments are consistent with the corporate purposes of the trust;

    k.    Procure insurance to secure the payment of its bonds, notes or other obligations or the payment of any guarantees or loans made by it in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.), or against any loss in connection with its property and other assets and operations, in any amounts and from any insurers as it deems desirable;

    l.     Engage the services of attorneys, accountants, engineers, and financial experts and any other advisors, consultants, experts and agents as may be necessary in its judgment and fix their compensation;

    m. (1) Make and contract to make loans to local government units, or to a local government unit on behalf of another local government unit, to finance the cost of wastewater treatment system projects or water supply projects and acquire and contract to acquire notes, bonds or other obligations issued or to be issued by any local government units to evidence the loans, all in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    (2)  Make and contract to make loans to public water utilities, or to any other person or local government unit on behalf of a public water utility, to finance the cost of water supply projects in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    (3)  Make and contract to make loans to private persons other than local government units, or to any other person or local government unit on behalf of a private person, to finance the cost of stormwater management systems in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    n.    Subject to any agreement with holders of its bonds, notes or other obligations, purchase bonds, notes and other obligations of the trust and hold the same for resale or provide for the cancellation thereof, all in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.);

    o. (1) Charge to and collect from local government units, private persons or public water utilities any fees and charges in connection with the trust's loans, guarantees or other services, including, but not limited to, fees and charges sufficient to reimburse the trust for all reasonable costs necessarily incurred by it in connection with its financings and the establishment and maintenance of reserve or other funds, as the trust may determine to be reasonable. The fees and charges shall be in accordance with a uniform schedule published by the trust for the purpose of providing actual cost reimbursement for the services rendered;

    (2)  Any fees and charges collected by the trust pursuant to this subsection may be deposited and maintained in a fund separate from any other funds held by the trust pursuant to section 10 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-10) or section 23 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.) and shall be available for any corporate purposes of the trust;

    p.    Subject to any agreement with holders of its bonds, notes or other obligations, obtain as security or to provide liquidity for payment of all or any part of the principal of and interest and premium on the bonds, notes and other obligations of the trust or for the purchase upon tender or otherwise of the bonds, notes or other obligations, lines of credit, letters of credit and other security agreements or instruments in any amounts and upon any terms as the trust may determine, and pay any fees and expenses required in connection therewith;

    q.    Provide to local government units any financial and credit advice as these local government units may request;

    r.    Make payments to the State from any moneys of the trust available therefor as may be required pursuant to any agreement with the State or act appropriating moneys to the trust; and

    s.    Take any action necessary or convenient to the exercise of the foregoing powers or reasonably implied therefrom.


    3.    Section 6 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-6) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-6 Issuance of bonds, notes, other obligations.

    6. a. Except as may be otherwise expressly provided in the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.), the trust may from time to time issue its bonds, notes or other obligations in any principal amounts as in the judgment of the trust shall be necessary to provide sufficient funds for any of its corporate purposes, including the payment, funding or refunding of the principal of, or interest or redemption premiums on, any bonds, notes or other obligations issued by it, whether the bonds, notes or other obligations or the interest or redemption premiums thereon to be funded or refunded have or have not become due, the establishment or increase of reserves or other funds to secure or to pay the bonds, notes or other obligations or interest thereon and all other costs or expenses of the trust incident to and necessary to carry out its corporate purposes and powers.

    b.    Whether or not the bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust are of a form and character as to be negotiable instruments under the terms of Title 12A of the New Jersey Statutes, the bonds, notes and other obligations are made negotiable instruments within the meaning of and for the purposes of Title 12A of the New Jersey Statutes, subject only to the provisions of the bonds, notes and other obligations for registration.

    c.    Bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust shall be authorized by a resolution or resolutions of the trust and may be issued in one or more series and shall bear any date or dates, mature at any time or times, bear interest at any rate or rates of interest per annum, be in any denomination or denominations, be in any form, either coupon, registered or book entry, carry any conversion or registration privileges, have any rank or priority, be executed in any manner, be payable in any coin or currency of the United States which at the time of payment is legal tender for the payment of public and private debts, at any place or places within or without the State, and be subject to any terms of redemption by the trust or the holders thereof, with or without premium, as the resolution or resolutions may provide. A resolution of the trust authorizing the issuance of bonds, notes or other obligations may provide that the bonds, notes or other obligations be secured by a trust indenture between the trust and a trustee, vesting in the trustee any property, rights, powers and duties in trust consistent with the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.) as the trust may determine.

    d.    Bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust may be sold at any price or prices and in any manner as the trust may determine. Each bond, note or other obligation shall mature and be paid not later than 20 years from the effective date thereof, or the certified useful life of the project or projects to be financed by the bonds, whichever is less.

    All bonds of the trust shall be sold at such price or prices and in such manner as the trust shall determine, after notice of sale, a summary of which shall be published at least once in at least three newspapers published in the State of New Jersey and at least once in a publication carrying municipal bond notices and devoted primarily to financial news published in New Jersey or the city of New York, the first summary notice to be at least five days prior to the day of bidding. The notice of sale may contain a provision to the effect that any or all bids made in pursuance thereof may be rejected. In the event of such rejection or of failure to receive any acceptable bid, the trust, at any time within 60 days from the date of such advertised sale, may sell such bonds at private sale upon terms not less favorable to the State than the terms offered by any rejected bid. The trust may sell all or part of the bonds of any series as issued to any State fund or to the federal government or any agency thereof, at private sale, without advertisement.

    e.    Bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust may be issued under the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.) without obtaining the consent of any department, division, board, bureau or agency of the State, and without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things, other than those consents, proceedings, conditions or things which are specifically required by P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.).

    f.    Bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust issued under the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.) shall not be a debt or liability of the State or of any political subdivision thereof other than the trust and shall not create or constitute any indebtedness, liability or obligation of the State or any political subdivision, but all these bonds, notes and other obligations, unless funded or refunded by bonds, notes or other obligations, shall be payable solely from revenues or funds pledged or available for their payment as authorized in P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.). Each bond, note and obligation shall contain on its face a statement to the effect that the trust is obligated to pay the principal thereof or the interest thereon only from its revenues, receipts or funds pledged or available for their payment as authorized in P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.), and that neither the State, nor any political subdivision thereof, is obligated to pay the principal or interest and that neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, is pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on the bonds, notes or other obligations.

    g.    The aggregate principal amount of bonds, notes or other obligations, including subordinated indebtedness of the trust, shall not exceed $1,350,000,000. In computing the foregoing limitations there shall be excluded all the bonds, notes or other obligations, including subordinated indebtedness of the trust, which shall be issued for refunding purposes, whenever the refunding shall be determined to result in a savings.

    (1)  Upon the decision by the trust to issue refunding bonds, and prior to the sale of those bonds, the trust shall transmit to the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, or its successor, a report that a decision has been made, reciting the basis on which the decision was made, including an estimate of the debt service savings to be achieved and the calculations upon which the trust relied when making the decision to issue refunding bonds. The report shall also disclose the intent of the trust to issue and sell the refunding bonds at public or private sale and the reasons therefor.

    (2)  The Joint Budget Oversight Committee or its successor shall have the authority to approve or disapprove the sales of refunding bonds as included in each report submitted in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection. The committee shall notify the trust in writing of the approval or disapproval as expeditiously as possible.

    (3)  No refunding bonds shall be issued unless the report has been submitted to and approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee or its successor as set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.

    (4)  Within 30 days after the sale of the refunding bonds, the trust shall notify the committee of the result of that sale, including the prices and terms, conditions and regulations concerning the refunding bonds, the actual amount of debt service savings to be realized as a result of the sale of refunding bonds, and the intended use of the proceeds from the sale of those bonds.

    (5)  The committee shall review all information and reports submitted in accordance with this subsection and may, on its own initiative, make observations to the trust, or to the Legislature, or both, as it deems appropriate.

    h.    Each issue of bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust may, if it is determined by the trust, be general obligations thereof payable out of any revenues, receipts or funds of the trust, or special obligations thereof payable out of particular revenues, receipts or funds, subject only to any agreements with the holders of bonds, notes or other obligations, and may be secured by one or more of the following:

    (1)  Pledge of revenues and other receipts to be derived from the payment of the interest on and principal of notes, bonds or other obligations issued to the trust by one or more local government units, and any other payment made to the trust pursuant to agreements with any local government units, or a pledge or assignment of any notes, bonds or other obligations of any local government unit and the rights and interest of the trust therein;

    (2)  Pledge of rentals, receipts and other revenues to be derived from leases or other contractual arrangements with any person or entity, public or private, including one or more local government units, or a pledge or assignment of those leases or other contractual arrangements and the rights and interest of the trust therein;

    (3)  Pledge of all moneys, funds, accounts, securities and other funds, including the proceeds of the bonds, notes or other obligations;

    (4)  Pledge of the receipts to be derived from the payments of State aid, payable to the trust pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-12);

    (5)  A mortgage on all or any part of the property, real or personal, of the trust then owned or thereafter to be acquired, or a pledge or assignment of mortgages made to the trust by any person or entity, public or private, including one or more local government units and the rights and interest of the trust therein.

    i.     The trust shall not issue any bonds, notes or other obligations, or otherwise incur any additional indebtedness, on or after November 5, 2025.

    j.     (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1996, c.88).


    4.    Section 9 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-9) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-9 Loans to local government units.

    9. a. (1) The trust may make and contract to make loans to local government units, or to a local government unit on behalf of another local government unit, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.) to finance the cost of any wastewater treatment system project or water supply project, which the local government unit may lawfully undertake or acquire and for which the local government unit is authorized by law to borrow money.

    (2)  The trust may make and contract to make loans to public water utilities, or to any other person or local government unit on behalf of a public water utility, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.) to finance the cost of any water supply project, which the public water utility may lawfully undertake or acquire.

    (3)  The trust may make and contract to make loans to private persons other than local government units, or to any other person or local government unit on behalf of a private person, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.) to finance the cost of stormwater management systems.

    The loans may be made subject to those terms and conditions as the trust shall determine to be consistent with the purposes thereof. Each loan by the trust and the terms and conditions thereof shall be subject to approval by the State Treasurer, and the trust shall make available to the State Treasurer all information, statistical data and reports of independent consultants or experts as the State Treasurer shall deem necessary in order to evaluate the loan. Each loan to a local government unit, public water utility or any other person shall be evidenced by notes, bonds or other obligations thereof issued to the trust. In the case of each local government unit, notes and bonds to be issued to the trust by the local government unit (1) shall be authorized and issued as provided by law for the issuance of notes and bonds by the local government unit, (2) shall be approved by the Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, and (3) notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.40A:2-27, N.J.S.40A:2-28 and N.J.S.40A:2-29 or any other provisions of law to the contrary, may be sold at private sale to the trust at any price, whether or not less than par value, and shall be subject to redemption prior to maturity at any times and at any prices as the trust and local government units may agree. Each loan to a local government unit, public water utility or any other person and the notes, bonds or other obligations thereby issued shall bear interest at a rate or rates per annum as the trust and the local government unit, public water utility or any other person, as the case may be, may agree.

    b.    The trust is authorized to guarantee or contract to guarantee the payment of all or any portion of the principal and interest on bonds, notes or other obligations issued by a local government unit to finance the cost of any wastewater treatment system project or water supply project, which the local government unit may lawfully undertake or acquire and for which the local government unit is authorized by law to borrow money, and the guarantee shall constitute an obligation of the trust for the purposes of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.). Each guarantee by the trust and the terms and conditions thereof shall be subject to approval by the State Treasurer, and the trust shall make available to the State Treasurer all information, statistical data and reports of independent consultants or experts as the State Treasurer shall deem necessary in order to evaluate the guarantee.

    c.    The trust shall not make or contract to make any loans or guarantees to local government units, public water utilities or any other person, or otherwise incur any additional indebtedness, on or after November 5, 2025.

    d.    Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-1 et seq.) or P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-10.1 et al.) to the contrary, the trust may receive funds from any source or issue its bonds, notes or other obligations in any principal amounts as in the judgment of the trust shall be necessary to provide sufficient funds to finance or refinance short-term or temporary loans to local government units, public water utilities or private persons for any wastewater treatment system projects included on the project priority list for the ensuing fiscal year and eligible for approval pursuant to section 20 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-20) or water supply projects included on the project priority list for the ensuing fiscal year and eligible for approval pursuant to section 24 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-20.1), as applicable, without regard to any other provisions of P.L.1985, c.334 or P.L.1997, c.224, including, without limitation, any administrative or legislative approvals.

    Any short-term or temporary loans made by the trust pursuant to this subsection may only be made in advance of the anticipated loans the trust may make and contract to make under the provisions of subsection a. of this section to be financed or refinanced through the issuance of bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust authorized under section 6 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-6).


    5.    Section 20 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-20) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-20 Project priority list.

    20. a. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall for each fiscal year develop a priority system for wastewater treatment systems and shall establish the ranking criteria and funding policies for the projects therefor. The commissioner shall set forth a project priority list for funding by the trust for each fiscal year and shall include the aggregate amount of funds of the trust to be authorized for these purposes. The project priority list may include any stormwater management or combined sewer overflow abatement project identified in the stormwater management and combined sewer overflow abatement project priority list adopted by the commissioner pursuant to section 28 of P.L.1989, c.181.

    The project priority list, which shall include for each wastewater treatment system the date each project is scheduled to be certified as ready for funding, shall be in conformance with applicable provisions of the "Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972," Pub.L. 92-500 (33 U.S.C. s.1251 et al.), and any amendatory or supplementary acts thereto, and State law. The project priority list shall include a description of each project and its purpose, impact, cost, and construction schedule, and an explanation of the manner in which priorities were established. The priority system and project priority list for the ensuing fiscal year shall be submitted to the Legislature on or before January 15 of each year on a day when both Houses are meeting. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly shall cause the date of submission to be entered upon the Senate Journal and the Minutes of the General Assembly, respectively. On or before May 15 of each year, the trust shall submit the project priority list to be introduced in each House in the form of legislative appropriations bills, which shall be referred to the Senate Environment Committee and the General Assembly Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee, or their successors, for their respective consideration.

    b.    The Senate Environment Committee and the General Assembly Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee shall, either individually or jointly, consider the legislation containing the project priority list, and shall report the legislation, together with any modifications, out of committee for consideration by each House of the Legislature. On or before July 1 of each year, the Legislature shall approve an appropriations act containing the project priority list, including any amendatory or supplementary provisions thereto, which act shall include the authorization of an aggregate amount of funds of the trust to be expended for loans and guarantees for the specific projects, including the individual amounts therefor, on the list.

    c.    The trust shall not expend any money for a loan or guarantee during a fiscal year for any wastewater treatment system project unless the expenditure is authorized pursuant to an appropriations act as provided in the provisions of this section, or as otherwise set forth in an appropriations act.


    6.    Section 24 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-20.1) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-20.1 Priority system for water supply projects; policies.

    24. a. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall for each fiscal year develop a priority system for water supply projects and shall establish the ranking criteria and funding policies therefor. The commissioner shall set forth a project priority list for funding by the trust for each fiscal year and shall include the aggregate amount of funds of the trust to be authorized for these purposes. The commissioner may include a water supply project on the project priority list if it meets the eligibility requirements for funding pursuant to the federal "Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996," Pub.L.104-182. The project priority list shall include a description of each project and an explanation of the manner in which priorities were established. The priority system and project priority list for the ensuing fiscal year shall be submitted to the Legislature on or before January 15 of each year on a day when both Houses are meeting. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly shall cause the date of submission to be entered upon the Senate Journal and the Minutes of the General Assembly, respectively. On or before May 15 of each year, the trust shall submit the project priority list to be introduced in each House in the form of legislative appropriations bills, which shall be referred to the Senate Environment Committee and the General Assembly Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee, or their successors, for their respective consideration.

    b.    The Senate Environment Committee and the General Assembly Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee shall, either individually or jointly, consider the legislation containing the project priority list, and shall report the legislation, together with any modifications, out of committee for consideration by each House of the Legislature. On or before July 1 of each year, the Legislature shall approve an appropriations act containing the project priority list, including any amendatory or supplementary provisions thereto, which act shall include the authorization of an aggregate amount of funds of the trust to be expended for loans and guarantees for the specific water supply projects, including the individual amounts therefor, on the list.

    c.    The trust shall not expend any money for a loan or guarantee during a fiscal year for any water supply project unless the expenditure is authorized pursuant to an appropriations act as provided in the provisions of this section, or as otherwise set forth in an appropriations act.


    7.    Section 21 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-21) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-21 Financial plan.

    21. On or before May 15 of each year, the trust shall submit to the Legislature a financial plan designed to implement the financing of the wastewater treatment system projects either on the project priority list approved pursuant to section 20 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-20) or as otherwise approved by the Legislature. The financial plan shall contain an enumeration of the bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust which the trust intends to issue, including the amounts thereof and the terms and conditions thereof, a list of loans to be made to local government units or private persons, including the terms and conditions thereof and the anticipated rate of interest per annum and repayment schedule therefor, and a list of loan guarantees or contracts to guarantee the payment of all or a portion of the principal and interest on bonds, notes or other obligations issued by a local government unit to finance the cost of a wastewater treatment system project, and the terms and conditions thereof.

    The financial plan shall also set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering its proposed operations during the forthcoming fiscal year, including amounts of income from all sources, and the uniform schedule of fees and charges established by the trust pursuant to subsection o. of section 5 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-5), and the amounts to be derived therefrom, and shall summarize the status of each wastewater treatment system project for which loans or guarantees have been made by the trust, and shall describe major impediments to the accomplishment of the planned wastewater treatment system projects.


    8.    Section 25 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-21.1) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-21.1 Submission of financial plan to Legislature.

    25. On or before May 15 of each year, the trust shall submit to the Legislature a financial plan designed to implement the financing of the water supply projects either on the project priority list approved pursuant to section 24 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-20.1) or as otherwise approved by the Legislature. The financial plan shall contain an enumeration of the bonds, notes or other obligations of the trust which the trust intends to issue, including the amounts thereof and the terms and conditions thereof, a list of loans to be made to local government units, public water utilities, or to any other person or local government unit on behalf of a public water utility, including the terms and conditions thereof and the anticipated rate of interest per annum and repayment schedule therefor, and a list of loan guarantees or contracts to guarantee the payment of all or a portion of the principal and interest on bonds, notes or other obligations issued by a local government unit to finance the cost of a water supply project, and the terms and conditions thereof.

    The financial plan shall also set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering its proposed operations during the forthcoming fiscal year, including amounts of income from all sources, and the uniform schedule of fees and charges established by the trust pursuant to subsection o. of section 5 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-5), and the amounts to be derived therefrom, and shall summarize the status of each water supply project for which loans or guarantees have been made by the trust, and shall describe major impediments to the accomplishment of the planned water supply projects.


    9.    Section 27 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-22.2) is amended to read as follows:


C.58:11B-22.2 Submission of consolidated financial plan.

    27. As an alternative to the individual annual submissions required by the provisions of sections 21 and 22 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-21 and 58:11B-22) and sections 25 and 26 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-21.1 and C.58:11B-22.1), the trust may develop and submit to the Legislature a consolidated financial plan designed to implement the financing of the wastewater treatment system projects on the project priority list approved pursuant to section 20 of P.L.1985, c.334 (C.58:11B-20), the water supply projects on the project priority list approved pursuant to section 24 of P.L.1997, c.224 (C.58:11B-20.1) and any other projects approved by the Legislature.


    10. This act shall take effect immediately.


    Approved August 24, 2001.