Lake Hopatcong moves Closer to $4 Million Annual Funding

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Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroc’s Bill to Appropriate $4M Annually to the Lake Hopatcong Commission Moves Forward

Parsippany - Legislation introduced by Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26) to increase the state’s annual funding to the Lake Hopatcong Commission from $500,000 to $4 million is being introduced in the state Senate.

The Senate version of A-5763 is being introduced by Steve Oroho (R-24), who joined Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D3) and other state officials and authorities today in visiting the lake and observing the harmful algal blooms (HABs) that prompted advisories against swimming during the height of this summer’s beach and boating season.

The legislation will increase the state’s annual funding for maintenance at New Jersey’s largest lake to help avoid future HABs and the devastating economic damage they caused to area businesses this year when state environmental and health officials issued advisories against people contacting the water.

“After speaking with Senator Oroho, officials at the Department of Environmental Protection, the Governor’s office, Congressional representatives and meeting earlier this week with mayors from the towns around Lake Hopatcong, I am encouraged that we will be able to start dealing with the problems that caused the largest harmful algal bloom ever to hit our lake,” said Assemblywoman DeCroce.

The state advisories against swimming at Lake Hopatcong were in force throughout most of the summer in most areas of the lake. HABs, which have been impacting lakes and ponds throughout the state this season, including Greenwood Lake, have been traced by scientists to nutrients and pollution flushed into waterways from roadways, lawns and septic systems.

“My legislation appropriates the type of financial resources to properly maintain the state-owned lake. We need to begin fixing the problem immediately at Lake Hopatcong. Our lake community cannot endure another disastrous summer season,” said Assemblywoman DeCroce.

She also has introduced a second bill, A-5762, which requires the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to evaluate the state’s ability to install sewer service at homes and businesses that abut Lake Hopatcong in Jefferson Township and Hopatcong Borough. In the alternative, the bill requires the state to create tax credits to subsidize the cost of homeowners and businesses more frequently pumping effluent from their septic systems to prevent pollutants from entering Lake Hopatcong.

Assemblywoman DeCroce introduced legislation earlier this year that also would provide funding for Greenwood Lake, which spans West Milford Township and New York. She also introduced AR-267, a resolution that urges both New York and New Jersey authorities to jointly work to improve the water quality of Greenwood Lake. The resolution notes the lake spans both states and, while the HABs only impacted West Milford coves this summer, that joint action is needed before the problem spreads throughout the lake.

Learn more about what Assemblywoman DeCroce is doing for constituents by going to: https://aswdecrocenj26.com

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