News Article • 6/12/2017 • by Michele Byers at Daily Record
The Trump administration’s proposal to cut funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will directly impact federal safeguards for clean water, air and natural resources in this state we’re in. The proposal would roll back decades of progress in protecting public health and environmental quality.
Here in New Jersey, we too are debating the impact of cuts to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection proposed by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration. And since New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection gets significant funding from the EPA, the impacts to New Jersey would be magnified.
This one-two punch from the Christie and Trump administrations would worsen what is already a difficult situation. New Jersey is the nation’s most densely populated state, with a history of industrial pollution, including more Superfund cleanup sites than any other state. As a coastal state, New Jersey is also on the front lines of climate change and sea level rise.
To make matters worse, the Christie administration’s raiding of dedicated funds has depleted funding for clean energy and the cleanup of contaminated sites.
News Article • 6/11/2017 • by Drew Tompkins at Star Ledger
New Jersey voters cut the field on Tuesday to two major-party candidates in the race for governor. Whoever is chosen as the next governor on Nov. 7 will inherit an unprecedented opportunity and bear a tremendous burden to insulate the state from the worst effects of climate change, while staking out turf as a national leader – and jobs creator – in the pursuit of a clean energy economy.
With climate change already taking an obvious toll in New Jersey, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
One need look no further than New Jersey’s 130-mile coastline to realize our vulnerability to an even modest rise in sea level. Or remember Superstorm Sandy, which washed away beaches, boardwalks, and homes all over the state. The state’s $43 billion-plus tourism industry, and the jobs that come with it, is largely dependent on a profitable summer season at #JerseyShore.
What’s this got to do with the New Jersey governor’s race? Everything!
News Article • 6/7/2017 • by Matt Arco at NJ.com
Newly minted Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy accepted his party's nomination Tuesday night and said he looks for to a "campaign based on policy and vision" in the race to succeed Gov. Chris Christie.
"New Jersey, here's my simple promise to all 9 million of you: I've got your back," Murphy said to a hundreds of enthusiastic supporters at a hotel in Newark less than an hour after he was the declared winner.
"People in New Jersey are demanding change and I am here to change things," Murphy said.
News Article • 10/20/2016 • by Tom Johnson at NJ Spotlight
For the first time in 15 years, the state is expected to issue a full-blown drought warning.
The state Department of Environmental Protection is holding a public hearing today on drought conditions, a necessary prelude to declaring a drought warning for at least 12 northern and central counties where scant rainfall has emptied reservoirs.
With much of the state experiencing severely low precipitation levels and some of New Jersey’s biggest reservoirs falling below 50 percent storage levels, it is all but certain a drought warning will be issued.
News Article • 4/22/2016 • by Tom Johnson at NJ Spotlight
The Christie administration’s diversion of $20 million from an open-space fund to pay salaries at state parks was condemned yesterday at a legislative hearing in what is emerging as an acrimonious side battle over next year’s budget.
In a hearing before the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, open-space advocates argued such diversions were never contemplated by voters in the fall of 2014 when they easily approved a new constitutional amendment setting aside corporate business taxes to fund acquisition of undeveloped land and farmland preservation.
News Article • 3/2/2016 • by Tom Johnson at NJ Spotlight
It is a multibillion dollar problem and a major reason why most of New Jersey’s water fails to comply with federal clean water standards.
But with a price tag projected to run at least $8 billion, how to deal with stormwater runoff has largely defied solution in New Jersey. Rectifying the situation means fixing the combined sewer-overflow systems where runoff from storms mixes with untreated sewage to foul rivers, streams, and bays.
In a bid to deal with the longstanding problem, legislators are using a tactic already in place in approximately 1,500 jurisdictions around the country. They are moving on a bill (S-762) to allow dozens of urban areas to create stormwater utilities to help manage the runoff flowing into waterways.
News Article • 2/25/2016
The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters today gave the highest score (100 percent) to four members of the state's congressional delegation for their 2015 voting records on environmental issues, while lambasting the lowest-scoring for being "complicit in extreme attacks on important environmental laws and more recent progress to protect our air, water, public lands, and wildlife.”
News Article • 2/24/2016 • by David Giambusso at Politico
The National League of Conservation Voters has released its annual congressional scorecard and the results for New Jersey are middling.
The environmental advocacy group rates senators and representatives based on their votes in their respective chambers on a slew of bills from 2015, ranging from clean energy to land conservation to pollution.
News Article • 1/31/2016 • by Amanda Oglesby at Asbury Park Press
ASBURY PARK - If the federal government approves oil and gas drilling offshore, a group of New Jersey elected officials, environmentalists and residents worry that beaches like Asbury Park's would be in jeopardy.
They envision a disaster like the one in Gulf Coast states after the Deepwater Horizon explosion of 2010, when millions of barrels of oil coated animals and slicked beaches for hundreds of miles. In the months afterward, crews cleaned oil and tar from beaches, ocean-dwelling animals died in unusual numbers, and that region's fishing and tourism industry were temporarily crippled.
Asbury Park Mayor John Moor said he worries a similar disaster could happen at the Jersey Shore.
News Article • 1/26/2016 • by Tom Johnson at NJ Spotlight
Hoping to free up funds sooner rather than later, a legislative committee yesterday quickly revived a bill to provide money to preserve open space, farmland, and historic structures.