The EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently signed a new 2020-2022 Performance Partnership Agreement that allows New Jersey to focus on its priorities while ensuring it meets its obligations under EPA funding. The agreement describes the shared agenda for environmental progress in New Jersey, specific measures to evaluate progress and strategies to reach beneficial environmental goals.
“This major agreement strengthens the important partnership between EPA and NJDEP by increasing flexibility and fostering the use of innovative strategies for solving real problems associated with water, air and solid waste,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “This is the tenth such agreement for New Jersey and serves as the work plan for grants and funds totaling almost $85 million and will guide the joint environmental program performance through June 30, 2022. EPA looks forward to the environmental results that will be accomplished through this agreement and regulatory partnership.”
“The New Jersey DEP and EPA continue to be constructive partners in addressing New Jersey’s environmental challenges and charting a path toward brighter futures for New Jersey residents,” said New Jersey DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “The renewal of our Performance Partnership Agreement ensures that we can be efficient in achieving our shared goals to protect New Jersey’s environment and public health. I am personally grateful for the continued collaboration between Regional Administrator Lopez and our respective teams.”
The milestone agreement provides the framework for activities and commitments to be supported with EPA funding provided via a Performance Partnership Grant (PPG). Grants in several environmental categories are combined into the PPG and subsequently allocated to implement environmental programs with greater flexibility and ease. The total PPG budget is approximately $85 million. This includes federal funds of $58.5 million and a required state match of $26.2 million.
The Performance Partnership Agreement affords the state enhanced capability to address its highest priorities, while cutting down on administrative and programmatic costs that come with awarding and administering individual grants for each environmental area. Specific programs that will benefit from this agreement include air pollution controls, hazardous waste management, indoor radon mitigation, pesticides enforcement, safe drinking water, underground injection control and water pollution control. EPA will develop a process for jointly evaluating and reporting progress made, and accomplishments rendered under the grant work plan. Some annual EPA environmental grants to the state cannot be rolled into the agreement for regulator/statutory reasons, but EPA will continues its close partnership with NJDEP and other state agencies on the individual grants to ensure that they receive their full suite of support from EPA.