News Article • 1/15/2019 • by Colleen O'Dea at NJ Spotlight
“The governor’s first year has been a whirlwind of pro-environmental actions and commitments to conservation, including creating 100,000 jobs in energy efficiency, reversing rollbacks such as the Highlands Septic Density rule, standing up to polluters and developers, and making sweeping changes at the DEP that puts science-based decision making a top priority,” said Ed Potosnak, the fund’s executive director, who gave the Murphy administration a B+.
News Article • 1/14/2019 • by Danielle Muoio at Politico
Two influential environmental groups gave Gov. Phil Murphy mixed reviews for his first year in Trenton, but both agreed the progress he initially made on key environmental issues has declined since his first 100 days in office.
The New Jersey Sierra Club issued a scathing scorecard on Monday, giving the Democratic governor a “D” for what it said was a “a lack of leadership on many key issues.” Murphy fared better last week with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, which gave him a “B+” for enacting “a whirlwind of pro-environmental actions and commitments to conservation.”
News Article • 1/9/2019 • by Michelle Brunetti Post at Press of Atlantic City
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Seven members of the House of Representatives, including New Jersey’s Frank Pallone, D-6th, said Tuesday they will introduce legislation to block the Trump administration from expanding offshore drilling for gas and oil.
News Article • 1/9/2019 • by Tom Johnson at NJ Spotlight
The state is proposing to overhaul one of the most contentious rules adopted by the Christie administration, but critics say it falls short in dealing with the single biggest problem impairing New Jersey’s waters — stormwater runoff.
The proposal, the first major regulation offered by the state Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Phil Murphy, mostly amends rules involving stormwater management, an issue often blamed for increasing the risk of flooding and threatening water quality.
News Article • 11/1/2018 • by Jesse Nichols at Grist
Earlier this fall, the world’s top climate scientists gave humanity about 10 years to avoid a future that really sucks. With the midterm elections right around the corner, that warning means voters are effectively deciding which candidates to trust with the keys to the climate. If voters are sufficiently worried about warming, that anxiety might help determine who is put in office.
According to Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, worry is a stronger predictor of policy support than other emotions. “We found that it’s not fear, it’s not anger, and it’s not disgust or guilt,” he explained. “Worry doesn’t hijack, doesn’t overwhelm, rationality. It can really spur it.”
So just how worried about the planet’s future are voters in the nation’s tightest congressional races? Grist created a map overlaying competitive elections, as identified by The Cook Political Report, with climate concern data from Yale’s 2018 Climate Opinion Maps.
News Article • 10/29/2018 • by Michelle Post at Press of Atlantic City
TRENTON _ The State Senate voted Monday 30-5 to pass a bill banning fracking waste in the state.
If it becomes law, New Jersey would become the second state in the nation to ban fracking waste and the first state in the Delaware River basin to do so.
There is an imminent need for such a law, environmentalists said. Another law passed this summer created a loophole for the Chemours/DuPont Chamber Works facility in Salem County to seek DEP approval to begin importing hazardous waste from other states.
News Article • 10/29/2018 • by Bob Makin at My Central Jersey
FRANKLIN (Somerset) - The state Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on the controversial 26.8-mile Northeast Supply Enhancement of the Transco pipeline and its proposed compressor station 6 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Franklin High School Auditorium, 500 Elizabeth Ave., in the Somerset section.
The highly-protested extension of Tulsa-based Williams natural gas supplier’s pipeline would run through Old Bridge, Sayreville and the Raritan Bay. A 32,000-horsepower compression station is proposed at Trap Rock Quarry in Franklin.
The DEP has rejected plans for the project that Williams has had to resubmit. The Nov. 5 meeting will be about freshwater wetland and transition area impacts associated with the construction of an access road and connector pipes related to the compressor, as well as 3.59 miles of a proposed 26-inch-diameter pipeline in Sayreville and Old Bridge. Environmentalists and residents continue to express concerns about the plan.
News Article • 10/11/2018 • by Ed Potosnak at NJ.com
Every day, it seems like another company is announcing that it's taking up the fight on plastic pollution.
Just the other day, the world's largest seafood restaurant company, Red Lobster, announced it will phase out plastic straws. The restaurant chain joins a long list of institutions -- Starbucks, American Airlines, even the city of Seattle -- that are addressing our pervasive single-use plastic problem.
The reality is apparent: single-use plastics are an environmental nightmare, and it's time for New Jersey to lead America in eliminating single-use plastics.
New Jersey residents alone use 4.4 billion plastic bags annually, the effects of which are not hard to see. Plastic bags caught in trees, rolling down highways, doomed to persist in our waterways and green spaces for centuries.
Currently, in New Jersey, local municipalities are leading the way in curbing plastic pollution -- Longport, Ventnor, Hoboken, Jersey City, and several others have passed ordinances reducing plastic in some way, either through fees or outright bans.
Now, it's time for the state to act.
News Article • 9/27/2018 • by Michael Sol Warren at NJ.com
The governor wanted more, and that's exactly what lawmakers are trying to deliver.
After Gov. Phil Murphy vetoed a bill that would've created a five-cent sales tax on plastic and paper disposable bags and calling for stricter measures, lawmakers are back with a new proposal aimed at cutting back on plastic waste in the Garden State.
The proposal would ban stores from handing out single-use plastic shopping bags, plastic drinking straws and polystyrene food containers (like foam takeout clamshells) from being used in New Jersey. The bill would also create a 10-cent fee on single-use paper bags, which would finance a new "Plastic Pollution Prevention Fund."
The bill was advanced out of Senate environment committee on Thursday with a four-to-one vote.
The proposed 10-cent fee on paper bags would send five cents back to the store operators. The remaining money would go to the newly created fund. The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, a supporter of the bill, praised the paper bag fee.
"Paper bags are extremely resource-intensive and, in the U.S., we use over 10 billion per year. That results in thousands of acres of trees cut down, over 1,300 acres just from New Jersey's paper bag consumption," said Ed Potosnak, the executive director of the NJLCV. "This fee is essential to drive the behavioral change we need - and that's to use reusable bags."
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News Article • 9/20/2018 • by Andrew Schmertz at NJTV
A new poll sends a strong message to policy makers. Fully two thirds of voters surveyed for a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll do not view natural gas as clean energy — that’s a 23 percent increase since 2016. It also shows three-quarters want New Jersey to achieve a goal of 100 percent of renewable energy by 2050. The state’s enlisting the public in crafting its new energy master plan at a hearing that drilled down on transportation technology. Andrew Schmertz has this report on Peril and Promise: The challenge of climate change.
By 2025, one in seven cars on New Jersey’s roads must be zero-emission electric vehicles. A government commission known as the Energy Master Plan Committee heard from a range of groups Thursday on how to meet that goal, which some say has been stalled since the 2004 Clean Car Program passed.