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April 13, 2012

The state is purchasing 540 flood-prone homes with $121 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The properties are based in Wayne, Lincoln Park, Pompton Lakes, and Little Falls. Additional funding also comes from Blue Acres, Green Acres and open space trust programs.

NJ Sierra Club executive director Jeff Tittel hailed the buyout as a good first step but said it was “just a drop in the bucket” of what is needed to address New Jersey’s flood control problem. An announcement of a 15-point plan to address the Passaic Basin was mere public relations, Tittel said. He called other recent projects, such as the Oakland Flood Control program and renewed suggestions to build a Passaic River Tunnel -- which would allow water to empty in Newark Bay -- expensive camouflage to allow for more development in Oakland and Wayne.

Tittel said the state needs a holistic plan that will look at the entire problem and then enact it. “We have seen dozens of reports on flooding with the basic and best use for them is to be used to elevate your furniture to protect from flooding since they never get implemented anyway.”

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