Borough of Bound Brook Reaches Agreement With New Jersey American Water For Sewer System Acquisition, Positively Impacting Nearly 3,000 Customers

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Firm News |

Agreement Facilitated by DeCotiis Law Includes an $11 Million Investment for Improvements

PARAMUS – February 24, 2022 – DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, was instrumental in securing an agreement for the sale of the Borough of Bound Brook’s wastewater collection system to New Jersey American Water. Equity Partner Ryan J. Scerbo, on behalf of the firm, provided counsel to Bound Brook on the sale of the wastewater collection system. The agreement will enable the municipality to significantly reduce their debt and potentially reduce taxes.

“It was imperative for us to bring on a firm that is among one of New Jersey’s most respected and knowledgeable in the areas of public procurement and municipal utilities law,” shared Mayor Robert Fazen. “During this process, DeCotiis assisted in every step of the procurement, public referendum, and contracting processes and those efforts, along with efforts of municipal representatives, have resulted in budgetary savings not only for the municipality but most importantly for our residents.” In the Borough of Bound Brook, the mayor’s sentiments were not alone. Borough Council President Jake Hardin also celebrated the outcome, “Beginning in early 2020 the governing body of the Borough committed to understanding the drivers of sewer costs and finding suitable alternatives to reduce this burden for our residents. Ryan’s expertise informed the working committee on best practices used across the state and helped navigate NJ State utility laws. We look forward to the final element of this effort closing this summer, providing relief for the hardworking people of Bound Brook. Without Ryan, we never would have achieved this impact for our residents.”

A voter referendum this past fall approved the contract to sell the Bound Brook system, which includes a commitment by American Water to invest over $11 million in critical sewer system improvements over a ten-year period. The acquisition agreement will also freeze current sewer rates for residents for two years and will not increase rates by more than three percent annually for the proceeding three years.

In a prepared statement released by New Jersey American Water, President Mark McDonough said, “I want to thank the elected officials and residents of Bound Brook for entrusting us to manage and improve their sewer utility and protect the environment from the many risks associated with running a sewer collection system. Providing water and wastewater service is all we do, and as Bound Brook’s water company for over a hundred years, we are deeply committed to making the needed improvements to provide the community with sewer service that is as safe, reliable and affordable as the water service we provide.”

DeCotiis’ Equity Partner Ryan Scerbo has represented, and continues to represent, numerous municipal and regional sewer and water utilities and authorities across New Jersey. Mr. Scerbo is also experienced in representing municipally owned utilities and utility authorities in the procurement of proposals from private water/wastewater service providers and has assisted clients with the negotiation of long-term operator contracts and obtaining necessary approvals for such contracts from the Department of Community Affairs, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Mr. Scerbo remarked on the significance of the acquisition, “This process has relieved Bound Brook and its residents from the ever-increasing financial burden its wastewater system was becoming. I commend the Mayor and Council for thoughtfully considering all available options over many months before selecting the referendum sale process.” He continued, “While it may not be opportune for every municipality or county to consider the sale of a public utility, in this instance Bound Brook was able to carefully study all of their options and reach a conclusion that was in the best interest of their residents.”

The environmental law practice at DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, is designed specifically to help clients address legal, regulatory, and business challenges. The firm’s lawyers have the breadth and depth of experience to ensure that its clients not only meet these challenges but also benefit from them. Their attorneys counsel clients in areas such as:

  • Water and Wastewater – Permitting, compliance, finance and operational issues
  • Renewable energy – Siting, tax credits, project finance, bonds, mergers and acquisitions, regulation, and pilot agreements
  • Sustainable development – Public finance, tax incentives, project acquisition, development and finance, and affordable housing
  • Environmental and land use – Permitting, transactional due diligence, brownfields, environmental impact reviews, and code compliance
  • Development of climate change policies and practices
  • Green investing – Fund structuring, formation, and implementation
  • Clean technology – Intellectual property, trade secrets, contracts, and transactions

To contact Equity Partner Ryan J. Scerbo for environmental and green-focused counsel, call 201-907-5264 or email For more information about DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, and the firm’s Environmental Law practice visit or call 201-928-1100.

About DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP

As a law firm that boasts more than 100 attorneys and staff, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, has a deep well of knowledge from which to draw. The firm’s legal teams work across disciplines to achieve the best results possible in both public and private sectors. DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP’s deep connections to the highest levels of state and local government allow their attorneys to efficiently resolve issues for a broad range of organizations. These existing relationships with government and regulatory agencies inform everything the firm does. A partial list of its practice areas includes real estate, labor law, public procurement, litigation, cannabis, environmental law, public finance, tax, municipal law, government and regulatory affairs, healthcare law, corporate law, banking and bankruptcy. For more information, visit