2019 Wave Awards Honored Achievement in the Industry

Posted on: March 29th, 2019 by eric

AEA is proud to have recognized members during the annual recognition luncheon at the utility management conference in March of 2019. Awards included:

Outstanding Commissioner, Dr. Robert A. Bartolini of Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority and Ted Light of Middlesex County Utilities Authority. Outstanding Associate Member John Napolitano, Esq. of Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC. For Individual Wave Achievement, Kyle Arnold of North Hudson Sewerage Authority, and Susan DuBey of Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority.

Also honored Up And Comer Award winner Apryl Roach of Franklin Township Sewerage Authority, Life Member Award Kevin Aiello of Middlesex County Utilities Authority, and Sid Weiss, Esq. of Southeast Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority.

Winning for Best Management Practices was the  Atlantic County Utilities Authority, the Hanover Sewerage Authority, North Hudson Sewerage Authority, and Toms River Municipal Utilities Authority. Winning an Energy Savers award was Ocean County Utilities Authority and Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority, while winning a Forward Thinking award was Buena Borough Municipal Utilities Authority, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, and Western Monmouth Utilities Authority. Finally, recognized for their efforts in Public Education was Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority.

In addition, we offer out Congratulations to the 2018 EPDA Cohort:

  • Thomas Bongiovanni, Two Bridges SA
  • Natalie Chesko, South Monmouth RSA
  • Yolanda Cox, Plainfield MUA
  • Paul Dobson, Stony Brook RSA
  • James Higgins, Evesham MUA
  • Don Hilty, Stony Brook RSA
  • Javier Irizarry, Stony Brook RSA
  • Janette Kessler, Atlantic County UA
  • Michael Mullen, Evesham MUA
  • Hossein (Mack) Rahimi, Stony Brook RSA
  • Jennifer Rivera, Pemberton Township MUA
  • Frank Rockwell, South Monmouth RSA

Training of Decision-makers: An Idea Whose Time has Come?

Posted on: March 25th, 2019 by eric

By AEA President Dave Harpell

In November of 2016, Peggy Gallos, AEA executive director, Pam Carolan, executive director of Mount Laurel Township MUA, and I testified before the Joint Legislative Task Force on Drinking Water. Among our recommendations was this: “In contrast, appointed planning board and elected board of education members are required to have a baseline orientation to help them understand their vital role in their respective spheres. Similar requirements for appointed and elected county, authority and municipal officials would be useful. Such new legislation could be modeled on existing requirements for planning board and board of education members – that within the first year of taking office or beginning an appointed term, local officials who will be making decisions about water and sewer funds must attend an orientation to introduce them to the basics of operations and best management practices.”

We made this recommendation because we know that better decisions are more likely to come from leaders who understand their systems and organizations.

I am pleased to say that the final report issued by the task force in 2018 contained this recommendation. More specifically, it stated that, “the Legislature should enact legislation requiring elected and appointed officials who make decisions about water infrastructure to receive standardized education about basic system operations, finance, regulation, and best management practices in their first term. “

At the beginning of the 218th Legislative Session, Assemblyman John McKeon and Senator Linda Greenstein, who had co-chaired the task force, introduced bills  (A3500/S1952) that would require training. In addition, a NJDEP official recently said the Department was considering adding training requirements to the regulations implementing the Water Quality Accountability Act.

This is one example illustrating both the value of speaking up and the value of AEA. Comments on legislation or regulations, participating in panels and conferences, and taking part in our state’s dialogue about public policy matters makes a difference. A new idea is like a pebble tossed into the water. It moves out to a wider audience. Once out there, a new idea can be taken up by others. It can and does have an impact. It can make its way into high-profile reports, into proposed legislation, or into regulations.

AEA is the platform from which we can participate and make our voice heard. I want to thank each member –authority, municipal member, associate or affiliate—that has recommitted this year to membership in AEA. When we work together through AEA, we can help our members be heard.

Got an Energy Master Plan? It Does a Business Good

Posted on: February 14th, 2019 by eric

Everyone is talking about energy, whether it’s the rise in costs, the climate impact it creates or the reliability of our infrastructure.

The fact is we need energy to properly run our facilities. The problem is we cannot continue to watch our energy operating costs skyrocket and continue to rely solely on conventional energy sources that are detrimental to the bottom line and the environment.

It’s time for all of us to create an Energy Master Plan (EMP) that will help to create a sustainable business environment.

An EMP is a well-thought-out action plan for management to assess its current energy consumption, forecast future needs and to develop strategies to meet those needs while reducing the overall consumption of the facility. There should be a designated person, department or agency to lead the organization through the EMP process. The process will require input from personnel throughout the entire organization, but the lead should follow the process all the way through.

The first step in creating an EMP is to develop baseline energy consumption that will be used to evaluate energy conservation goals. Baseline data is typically gathered from utility bills. The data has to be organized and evaluated in conjunction with business operations during the baseline period.

Compare like utility bills over several years to determine whether consumption has increased or decreased and whether the change coincides with operations.

For example, if operations have remained somewhat stable and energy use has dramatically increased it could indicate a repair is required to keep machinery operating at peak efficiency. It is critical to have a handle on current consumption and operating performance, as this is the basis used to develop management’s energy efficiency goals.

Once baseline data is established and understood, the facility should be benchmarked to other similar facilities. The easiest way to benchmark the facility is to undergo an energy audit. The energy audit will allow management to identify potential energy efficiency projects, determine implementation timelines and prioritize action items.

Often times an energy consultant is retained to assist with this process. There are consultants in New Jersey that can assist an authority with benchmarking its energy consumption with similar organizations. Benchmarking is a useful tool to assist management in developing short- and long-term efficiency goals.

Planning implementation to meet efficiency goals is the next objective in the EMP process. Some initiatives will be relatively inexpensive and simple to implement. Some will be more complex and costly and could require financing.

It is recommended to implement the plans with the greatest benefit first and those that can demonstrate short-term success to develop support for the overall plan. Some efficiency projects require little or no up front costs and create enthusiasm from the organization to prioritize energy efficiency. Other projects will be capital-intensive and need strong management commitment to implement.

Often times annual energy savings for major efficiency improvements and upgrades will more than repay debt service requirements and generate an annual savings for the organization. A cost-benefit analysis for any implementation strategies should be analyzed to determine whether the pay back period is reasonable.  

Where energy efficiency leaves off, consider supplementing conventional energy sources with renewable energy sources. New technology is emerging regularly and existing technology is becoming more affordable. Every organization has their own unique renewable energy sources that may be able to be tapped for energy production.

The EMP should be updated as projects are implemented, monitored and evaluated for effectiveness. The plan should have a series of short, medium and long-term goals that can be easily measured and reported to management, employees and the public. Share results and let taxpayers know that the EMP has saved money and that your organization is thinking long-term about the sustainability of the organization and the environment.

Get an EMP. It will do your business good.


ACMUA Prepares for Legal Action Relating to PFAS/PFOS

Posted on: February 13th, 2019 by eric

The Atlantic City MUA has engaged DeCotiis Fitzpatrick to assess the liability of the FAA Technical Center for contamination of ACMUA’s production well with PFAS and PFOS chemicals.

ACMUA has also engaged Sher Edling to litigate against manufacturers.

This action comes as ACMUA faces costs of $20 million to comply with new NJDEP regulations governing PFAS/PFOS. The ACMUA last week issued a press release discussing the reasons the wells were located at the FAA site and detailing the steps ACMUA will have to take to treat and continue to remove the chemicals from its water.

Click here to read the full document. 

Nominations Open for 2018 Wave Awards – Recognize Excellence!

Posted on: November 27th, 2018 by eric

The Association of Environmental Authorities bestows Wave Awards to recognize excellence in the public water, wastewater, recycling, and solid waste sector in New Jersey. Submissions are reviewed by a three-member committee.

This year’s awards will be presented at a luncheon on Day Two, Wed., March 13, of the spring utility management conference at Caesar’s in Atlantic City.

Nominations due Friday, Feb. 8, 2019

Download a nomination form here (scroll to the bottom).

Why Should I Submit a Nomination?

Good work deserves attention. By submitting, you foster more success. You instill pride. You motivate. You help us raise awareness about the work we all do.

How Do I Submit A Nomination?

Complete the appropriate nomination form (scroll to the bottom). For each nomination, explain why the organization or individual award is merited. Include supporting documentation such as news stories, resumes, testimonial letters, or other material. Relevant project cost, savings attributed to an effort or project, descriptions of methodologies and other pertinent and distinguishing information should be included. Include photos or charts too, if applicable. Note: Certain limits on who can submit in some categories. See individual award type descriptions.

Nominations are due Feb. 8, 2019

Send the nomination via email (preferred method) to Karen Burris at Karen@aeanj.org, by fax to 609-584-8271, or by postal mail, addressed to Karen, at the AEA offices, 2333 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Suite 2, Mercerville, 08619. For more information, contact Peggy or Karen.


Award Descriptions


This award is aimed at helping cultivate association leadership and honor those who volunteer time and effort to AEA. The individual receiving this award is on the staff of a member organization and has, in the last three years, been consistently active and engaged in AEA, making a significant contribution to AEA and its members. Staff of regular and municipal member organizations eligible.

Individual Achievement

Recognizes extraordinary performance of duties of an operations or non-managerial staff member under difficult, adverse or challenging circumstances and/or recognizes skill and dedication. Ineligible: executive directors or department managers. Eligible: individual from regular and municipal member organizations.

Mutual Aid Achievement Award

Recognizes AEA regular or municipal member organization for outstanding or extraordinary effort to assist one or more member organizations during the past year. This awards celebrates the essence of AEA, because it is about banding together to face challenges and promote mutual interests.

Wave Service Award

Given to a non-member, individual who has gone to great lengths or effort over time to help AEA achieve its goals. This individual may be a regulator, a member of a local, state or federal legislative body or someone from any organization AEA works with in an on-going manner.

Life Member

Throughout AEAs history, there have been individuals from member organizations, who have devoted themselves to AEA, serving, volunteering and participating, and making outstanding contributions to AEA over time. Eligible individuals, from member organizations, may still be working in their profession or may be retired. The award permanently waives dues for the Lifetime Member upon their retirement, and it entitles them to attend AEA events. Lifetime Membership benefits do not accrue to the organization employing the honoree.

Outstanding Commissioner Award

This award will be given to a member of an authority board who: 3 Has served six years or more ; embodies a “customer service ethic” by consistently acting in the best interests of ratepayers; has fostered positive relationships/mutual understanding between a regular/municipal member and its community or between the member organization and legislators; has supported AEA through active participation in AEA events; has offered outstanding leadership.

Nominees must be nominated by two other commissioners. Executive directors and professional consultants may not nominate commissioners

Outstanding Associate Member, Individual

This award goes to an individual employed by an associate member company, who has been active in AEA for more than 6 years and who has contributed in an exceptional manner to AEA through his or her committee work, by speaking or writing to inform and educate members in publications or at workshops and conferences, or who has supported AEA regulatory, legislative or public relations initiatives. Nominations can come from regular, municipal and associate members. But associate members may not nominate someone from their own company.

Outstanding Associate Member, Organization.

This award recognizes an AEA associate member organization that has been a member for six or more consecutive years and that has supported AEA through active participation in committees, as presenters, through sponsorships, contributing to AEA education efforts or in some way consistently supported AEA. Only AEA Board and Executive Committee members may submit nominations, and the recipient is chosen by the Executive Committee.

Forward Thinking Award

This award recognizes regular or municipal member innovation. It is presented to members that adopt successful new approaches or techniques in use of technology, facility design, or management. Authorities will submit applications for review by a selection committee.

Public Education Award

This award recognizes an outstanding public relations or public education efforts on the part of regular or municipal members. The efforts must promote understanding of the water, wastewater, solid waste or recycling industries, provide insight into the vital nature of AEA members’ services, or encourage vocational development in the environmental management field. Regular, municipal or associate members may submit nominations for this award.

Best Management Practices Award

This award goes to an authority/municipality that has implemented a process or program that addressed a need and resulted in measurable improvement in personnel management, consumables and inventory management, technical systems, facility operations and maintenance, performance measurement, security measures, customer service or energy. Regular and municipal members may make nominations in this category.

Energy Savers Award

This award recognizes good management and innovation in connection with energy. Success in saving energy costs or consumption, adopting innovation technology or managing energy use are the types of efforts recognized with this award.



2018 Commissioners Suppers a Great Success

Posted on: November 19th, 2018 by eric

Our Commissioners Suppers held a few weeks ago were a great success. Both were well attended, offering not just an enjoyable chance to socialize with others in the industry, but also a valuable opportunity to learn from one another.

Above, Mike Wynne, Executive Director, seated at the far end of the table (wearing white name tag), welcomes commissioners and executive directors to Hanover Sewerage Authority. Discussion focused on the role of the commissioner, state contracting and Pay-to-Play laws, I&I enforcement for collection systems and more.

Commissioners and executive directors from PMUA – Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority, Franklin Township Sewerage Authority, Morris County MUA, Western Monmouth Utilities Authority, and Rockaway Valley RSA and Peggy Gallos, AEA executive director, were among those who attended a supper event that was hosted by Hanover Sewerage Authority Commissioner Billy Byrne, Executive Director Mike Wynne and his staff.