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Alert

Hurricane Ida Recovery Action Plan – Public Hearings and Comment Period

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) opened a 30-day period (starting on August 17, 2022) for people to provide public comment on the Hurricane Ida Recovery Action Plan, which details how the State proposes to utilize $228,346,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to help households and communities meet unmet housing, infrastructure, planning, and other needs that have resulted from the effects of Hurricane Ida. The public comment period will run through September 16, 2022, and will include in-person public hearings in Manville and Newark, which were among the municipalities hardest hit by Hurricane Ida.

The Hurricane Ida Action Plan may be obtained in English and Spanish on the DCA’s website.

People may submit their comments through the DCA website, by email or by mail to the attention of:
Constituent Services, Division of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation, NJ Department of Community Affairs
101 South Broad Street
P.O. Box 823
Trenton, NJ 08625-0823.

People may also submit comment at two in-person public hearings that DCA is holding on:

  • Thursday, September 8, 2022 (6pm – 8pm)
    Manville High School School Auditorium
    1100 Brooks Boulevard
    Manville, NJ 08835
  • Monday, September 12, 2022 (6pm – 8pm)
    New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Campus Center Ballroom, Second Floor
    150 Bleeker Street
    Newark, NJ 07102

All comments must be received on or before 5pm on September 16, 2022, to be considered.

Summer of Scams: Learn the Telltale Signs

PSE&G urges customers to think twice if someone threatens to immediately shut off their power.

Click here to view and/or download the PSE&G scam alert flyer.

Just like the summer itself, scammers are turning up the heat, pretending to be PSE&G or impersonating prominent area utilities, and threatening to turn off service for nonpayment. PSE&G urges customers to understand scammers’ tactics and do the right thing if confronted with a demand for payment: Get the truth from the real PSE&G at 800-436-PSEG (7734).

“Protecting our customers is a top priority. It is critically important we continue to raise awareness and educate customers about how to spot and stop potential scams,” said Jane Bergen, director of billing, Customer Care for PSE&G. “Scammers continue to adapt and develop increasingly sophisticated tactics to take advantage of our customers.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers increased calls, texts, emails and in-person tactics, and they continue to contact utility customers asking for immediate payment to avoid service disconnection. PSE&G would not send just one notification to a customer within an hour of a service disconnection. Also, the company would not require payment with a prepaid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency or third-party digital payment via fund transfer applications. PSE&G offers a variety of payment options and would never require one specific type of payment.


Signs of potential scam activity:

  • Threat to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively tell the customer their utility bill is past due and service will be disconnected if a payment is not made  usually within an hour.
  • Request for immediate payment: Scammers may instruct the customer to purchase a prepaid card, a gift card or even Bitcoin, and then to call them back to make a phone payment. They may request that the customer use a payment app to make an online payment, or even give instructions for an in-person meeting.  Many times after the customer makes the first payment, the scammer will call back to ask for the payment to be resubmitted due to an error with the amount. The scammer refers to a new amount and claims that the original payment will be refunded.
  • In person-demands: Scammers may arrive at a home or business, flash a fake ID and/or claim to be a utility collection representative. The impostors may wear “uniforms” or affix false company signs to their vehicles. The scammers generally ask for personal information or offer discounts, which a real PSE&G representative would not do.
  • Request for card information: If a customer calls back with requested information, the scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s number or gift-card PIN, which grants the scammer instant access to the card’s funds, and the victim’s money is gone.

Protect yourself against scams:

  • Be alert to the telltale sign of a scam: someone asking by telephone or email for payment in pre-paid debit cards or fund transfer app, or to send money to an out-of-state address. 
  • Never arrange payment or provide account or personal information, including Social Security numbers or debit/credit card information, over the telephone unless you are certain you are speaking to a PSE&G representative. 
  • Customers should also know what PSE&G will and won’t discuss over the phone. A genuine PSE&G representative will ask to speak to the “Customer of Record.” If that person is available, the representative will explain why they are calling and provide the account name, address and current balance. If the person on the phone does not provide the correct information, it is likely the customer is not speaking with a PSE&G representative. 
  • If the “Customer of Record” is not available, the PSE&G representative will not discuss the account at all and ask that a message be left for the “Customer of Record” to call 1-800-357-2262.
  • If customers have doubts about the legitimacy of a call or an email — especially one in which payment is requested — they should call PSE&G directly at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734). 

    For more information on scams, click here.

New Jersey American Water Plans For Temporary Treatment Change in Water Treatment Plants Serving Central and Northern Parts of the State

As part of an annual maintenance program for its water distribution system, New Jersey American Water will temporarily change the water treatment process from a chloramine (combined) residual to free chlorine residual at the company’s Raritan-Millstone and Canal Road Water Treatment plants. These surface water treatment plants serve New Jersey American Water customers in the following counties: Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Somerset and Union.

“This periodic, scheduled change in disinfectant is a standard water treatment practice that allows us to continue to provide safe, high-quality water for our customers,” said Matthew Csik, Director of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance, New Jersey American Water. “We perform this distribution system maintenance program every year as an added measure to further disinfect the pipelines in our distribution system.”

The temporary treatment process will begin the week of February 7, 2022 and continue until the end of April 2022. During this period, some customers may notice a slight taste and smell of chlorine in their water. This is normal and will only be temporary until the system maintenance is complete. Customers who wish to reduce the taste of chlorine can place water in an uncovered glass container in the refrigerator overnight to dissipate chlorine faster.

“We will continue to monitor water quality in the system to continue to provide service that meets or is better than federal and state drinking water standards,” Csik said.

New Jersey American Water has used chloramines in its water treatment process since the 1970s. For more information, visit newjerseyamwater.com. In addition, due to ongoing water treatment plant upgrades at the Raritan-Millstone Water Treatment Plant, New Jersey American Water has temporarily shut down the fluoridation system. The company anticipates that fluoridation will resume by the end of this year. Fluoride is considered a drinking water additive and the temporary absence will have no impact to the quality of your water. For more information, visit www.newjerseyamwater.com, under Water Quality, select Fluoride.

Public Announcement – Union County Board of Commissioners Seek Input

Through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund provides a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. Union County has an allocation of $64.6 million.

The Union County Board of Commissioners and the County Manager invite residents, businesses, and community organizations to provide feedback about their priorities. Eligible use of these funds require that programs and projects must be tied to one of the following allowable uses:

  • Support public health response
  • Address negative economic impacts
  • Replace public sector revenue loss
  • Provide premium pay to essential workers
  • Make necessary investments to water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure

Public input, transparency, and accountability are critical to Union County’s response efforts. The survey is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese by clicking here. To obtain a paper survey and answers to any questions, residents may call 908-527-4250 and ask for Monica Remelgado. A paper survey will be mailed or emailed to callers. The deadline to submit input is the close of business on Thursday, November 18, 2021.