Frelinghuysen Committee's Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Benefits New Jersey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee today advances flood control and preparedness in New Jersey.  Overall, the legislation provides annual funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy (DOE), and other related agencies.

“National security is our number-one priority, and this bill will fund essential programs that maintain our nuclear deterrence posture in the face of growing global threats – including North Korea and other countries that are testing the tolerance of the international community,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) said. “Further, this legislation will make important investments in our energy development and water infrastructure to keep our economy growing and to continue the country’s lead in essential energy technology and innovation.”

“This bill includes strong funding for the Army Corps of Engineers – $120 million more than last year – and $1.2 billion more than the President’s budget request. These projects are vital to New Jersey and other states to protect people, businesses, and infrastructure from damages caused by floods and coastal storms,” he said.  “The Army Corps’ work also ensures our ports and waterways are able to move cargo and bulk goods around the country and overseas.”   Frelinghuysen noted that the report to accompany the FY 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill highlights the significance of the 2016 completed New Jersey/New York Harbor Deepening project, declaring , “This project of national significance is an example of how the (Army) Corps and its partners can work together to enhance our national economy.”

The legislation includes funding for:

  • New Jersey Back Bay Study ($449k) to continue research to bring relief from back bay flooding. The New Jersey Back Bay (NJBB) is located behind the New Jersey barrier islands of Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May Counties and includes the set of interconnected water bodies and coastal lakes that are separated from the Atlantic Ocean;
  • Green Brook Sub-Basin ($20 million) to continue construction on a series of channel modifications, levees with limited floodwalls and dry detention basins. The Green Brook Sub Basin, located within the Raritan River Basin in Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties encompassing 13 municipalities and draining approximately 65 square miles of primarily urban and industrialized area, is continually subject to severe, and sometimes devastating,  flood damage.
  • Funding is also provided in the bill for the Passaic River Flood Warning System, which assists the public and emergency managers forecast and prepare for riverine flood events;
  • Additional Operating and Maintenance (O&M) funding is provided for a number of projects throughout New Jersey to keep our waterways dredged and our beaches replenished. 

Funding for the Office of Science is held steady at $5.4 billion, $919 million above the President’s request.  The money is used to keep the national laboratories, including Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, at the forefront of global scientific discovery. 

In addition, it is important to note that the bill continues funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), a program important to certain New Jersey residents that had been slated for termination in the Administration’s budget.  WAP is a grant program of the Department of Energy that helps states improve the energy efficiency of the homes of elderly, handicapped and low-income families.  First established in 1976, the program has been used to aid more than 7 million families since.  “Weatherization” generally involves making basic improvements to homes that cut down on their energy use — for instance, sealing up holes in walls and windows, adding insulation or replacing heating and cooling equipment.


Overall, the FY 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill totals $37.56 billion – $209 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $3.65 billion above the President’s budget request.  The legislation provides strong national security investments, including increases above fiscal year 2017 for nuclear weapons programs. The bill also protects funding for critical national and regional waterways - which handle commerce valued at more than $2 trillion annually - through the Army Corps of Engineers, and programs that encourage energy independence and economic competitiveness.