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New Jersey's largest wastewater-treatment plant has secured a $260 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to a statement from the governor's office.
The funds will be used to fortify the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission's (PVSC) 152-acre plant in Newark, which suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
"Investing in the protection of critical facilities is essential to building New Jersey back better and stronger after Sandy," Gov. Chris Christe said in the statement.
The plant is the fifth largest in the nation and treats about 25 percent of New Jersey's waste and 15 percent of the wastewater of New York City.
Flooding of critical infrastructure during Hurricane Sandy caused power outages, damaging key pumping stations, resulting in 840 million gallons of untreated sewage to be released into Newark Bay.
The proceeds from the FEMA-grant, which is the largest grant ever issued by the agency for post-Sandy infrastructure hardening, will be used to build a flood-protection system at the plant and finance a microgrid project, allowing the facility to operate during large power cuts.
The PVSC facility has already received more than $72 million in federal Public Assistance funding and invested $10 million of its own funds to protect the facility and implement temporary mitigation measures, including the installation of flood barriers. The new project is expected to take five to seven years to complete.