News Releases

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Sign Project Partnership Agreement for Passaic River Tidal Coastal Storm Risk Management Project

Published March 30, 2021

NEW JERSEY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently signed a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) for the Passaic River Tidal Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, New Jersey. The PPA was signed March 17, 2021 by Col. Matthew W. Luzzatto, Commander of the New York District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Mr. David Rosenblatt, Assistant Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The signing allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move forward on the design and implementation phase of the coastal storm risk management project. 

“Superstorm Sandy taught us that we must take every step possible to develop flood mitigation projects and enhance resiliency to protect our communities from devastating storms,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). “The signing of the Project Partnership Agreement is a critical milestone in the work ahead to reduce the risk of flooding for the residents and businesses of the Ironbound community. I appreciate the collaborative efforts of local community stakeholders, NJDEP, and the Army Corps of Engineers to move us closer the design and implementation of this critical project.”

The coastal storm risk management project will reduce risk of flood damages for the Ironbound Section of Newark, New Jersey.

“I have seen firsthand the devastation that flooding has had on businesses and families in Newark’s Ironbound community, and the signing of the Project Partnership Agreement is welcome news to those who have been impacted,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). “I applaud the Army Corps of Engineers and all of the project partners for advancing this vital flood mitigation project that will help increase resiliency in the face of future storms.”

The project involves the construction of a six floodwall segments and one levee segment totaling approximately 4,850 linear feet which would tie into exiting topography and infrastructure to an elevation of 14 feet North American Vertical Datum of 1988, flood gates, interior drainage features, and wetland mitigation.

“I am thrilled that progress is being made to move forward with the Passaic River Tidal Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, which will help reduce flood risks and damages in the Ironbound portion of Newark,” said Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ). “This specific area was devastated by Superstorm Sandy and is particularly vulnerable due to its location and proximity to the Passaic River. This flood mitigation project is essential to preventing flooding and damages from any future storm surges.”

A reevaluation of the Passaic River Mainstem project was underway when Hurricane Sandy devastated the area in 2012. Due to the devastation caused by storm surge in Newark, Harrison, and Kearny, the tidal portion of the Passaic River Mainstem study area was separated from the Mainstem to be expedited in its own study.

“Getting this Project Partnership Agreement completed represents another key milestone in moving closer to the construction phase, which will allow us to provide increased coastal storm risk reduction measures for the residents of these communities,” said COL Matthew W. Luzzatto, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. “I would like to thank all of our partners at the federal, state, and local levels for their tremendous support as we move into the design and implementation phase.”

“New Jersey is already experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change—rising seas and subsiding land—which we know will worsen in the coming years,” said New Jersey Department Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. “These realities make our state’s strong partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers all the more critical. Together, we will strengthen New Jersey against sea-level rise, flooding, and storm surges. The Passaic River Tidal Protection project is a fine example of our concerted climate action, one that will serve as a building block of our commitment to climate justice by reducing the dangers of flooding in areas already disproportionately impacted by other environmental and public health stressors. When we address the resilience needs of vulnerable New Jersey communities, we lift every New Jersey community.”

“The East and South Wards in general and the Ironbound in particular have suffered heavily for many years from floods and hurricanes like Superstorm Sandy,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “We are grateful to our federal partners at the Army Corps of Engineers and our state partners at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for entering into this agreement and moving forward with this important undertaking to save lives and protect property in the East and South Wards from these natural disasters.”

The project is estimated to cost approximately $49M with the USACE proportionate cost share projected to be $32M, and the Non-Federal Sponsor NJDEP proportionate cost share projected at $17M.  

Public Affairs

Release no. 21-002