News Article • 7/3/2018 • by Tom Johnson at NJ Spotlight
It was only a single line-item veto in a $37.4 billion state budget, but it has fueled speculation over the fate of a controversial bill to impose a nickel fee on single use carry-out bags.
Gov. Phil Murphy blocked the diversion of funds targeted for lead abatement projects in the budget, a move welcomed by environmental and other advocates who want to see more resources dedicated to eliminating childhood exposure to lead.
In approving a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, the governor eliminated language that would have shifted at least $23 million raised by fees on plastic and paper bags to the general budget instead of lead programs as originally intended.
News Article • 7/2/2018 • by Scott Fallon at NorthJersey.com
Gov. Phil Murphy deleted language from the state's $37.4 billion budget Sunday that would have raised millions from a proposed 5-cent fee on plastic supermarket bags, signaling that he may support more stringent restrictions, including a ban.
Murphy has about 30 days left to decide the fate of the 5-cent fee bill, passed hurriedly by the Legislature last month as lawmakers were scrambling to find new revenue sources. Dan Bryan, a spokesman for Murphy, said Monday that no final decision has been made regarding the bill.
But environmentalists and some state lawmakers are urging Murphy, a Democrat, to support a temporary fee for a few years followed by an outright ban by vetoing the bill or rewriting it as part of a conditional veto. They want a bag law based on California's measure that bans plastic bags and charges a 10-cent fee on paper bags.
"The changes that need to be made to this bill are really critical; otherwise we're not doing much to solve the problem," said Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. "Nobody likes to change their habits, but this is a direction we need to go in. Just look at how much plastic is on your beaches and in your parks."
News Article • 6/18/2018 • by Ed Potosnak and Chris Sturm at Asbury Park Press
The issuance last week of 47 advisories of high levels of fecal bacteria along New Jersey's beaches highlights an important issue facing our state: We need a permanent way to address our polluted runoff problem.
News Article • 6/15/2018 • by Phil Gregory at WBGO
Lead that gets into drinking water from old water pipes can cause serious health problems.
New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would help assess the extent of that hazard.
A bill advanced by an Assembly committee would require public water systems to submit a list of lead service lines in their distribution system to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Chris Sturm with New Jersey Future says that’s an important step.
“It would set New Jersey communities on the path to understanding where those lead service lines are, cost estimates for how to replace them. It would also empower homeowners to know what they’re dealing with.”
Henry Gajda with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters also supports the measure.
News Article • 6/7/2018
Washington, D.C. — At its annual dinner in the nation’s capital Wednesday night, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) presented awards to actor and activist Adrian Grenier, conservationist and philanthropist Hansjorg Wyss, and the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
News Article • 6/4/2018 • by Michelle Brunetti at Press of Atlantic City
A hazardous waste processor will not be able to quickly reopen in Salem County after Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed a bill that would have exempted it from new permit requirements.
“The improvements the Governor made to the bill in his conditional veto will safeguard our clean drinking water, the Delaware River, and the fishing industries that rely on its health,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
News Article • 5/30/2018 • by Michelle Brunetti Post at Press of Atlantic City
As the most densely populated state in the U.S., with one of the oldest industrial bases and highest number of severely polluted Superfund sites, New Jersey may be expected to face severe environmental problems.
And we do. But a coalition of environmental groups led by the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund has prepared a plan to tackle some of the biggest environmental threats.
News Article • 5/29/2018 • by Michael Symons at WPG Talk Radio
A bill directing public schools and colleges in New Jersey to stop selling food and beverages in polystyrene packaging has taken a first step in the Legislature.
Henry Gajda, a public policy association for the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said the plastic takes 500 years to biodegrade and accumulates in the food chain and waterways. He said 25 billion polystyrene cups are used a year in the United States, accounting for 20 percent to 30 percent of landfill composition.
News Article • 5/25/2018 • by Ed Potosnak at My Central Jersey
New Jersey voters know it: our state’s energy future rests upon clean, renewable energy, not polluting fossil fuels. This was clearly demonstrated in November with the election of Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned on a platform of setting the state on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Moving forward on this path shouldn’t include investment in unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure that would work against the state’s efforts to reach that critical goal.
News Article • 5/21/2018 • by Phil Gregory at WBGO
New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would prohibit public schools and universities from selling food and beverages in Styrofoam containers.
Henry Gajda with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters told lawmakers it takes about 500 years for a Styrofoam cup to biodegrade.