New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is making the environment a top priority in Trenton.


Murphy to veto fee on plastic bags

Gov. Phil Murphy plans to veto a controversial bill that would have placed a 5-cent fee on plastic bags, according to a senior administration official.

Murphy plans to veto the bill in the coming days, per the source. The governor must act on the legislation by Monday, as both houses of the Legislature have said they intend to hold quorum calls that afternoon, triggering the deadline for a veto.

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5 things Murphy could do with plastic bag bill to truly reduce pollution | Opinion

Earlier this summer, a harrowing story blanketed the nightly news. In Thailand, a whale washed up on shore, which isn't uncommon or noteworthy, but something insidious ended its life. The whale died from poisoning -- death by plastic.

There were a staggering 80 plastic bags and nearly 18 pounds of plastic debris found in the pilot whale body.

This isn't a singular event, but a telling symbol of the massive impact of plastics impose on the health of our environment.

It is estimated that over 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, over 1 million sea-birds and countless fish die every year from ingesting plastics, and more than 800 types of wildlife have been documented to be harmed by this pollution. Astoundingly, it is estimated that there are 500 times more microplastics in our ocean than the 100 billion stars in our galaxy.

The statistics on the pervasive nature of plastic pollution can go on.

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Protecting the Water of 5 Million New Jerseyans: Lisa Plevin to Lead Highlands Council

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters would like to congratulate Lisa J. Plevin to her appointment as Executive Director for the New Jersey Highlands Council. Lisa takes over the role after Margaret Nordstrom, who is stepping down after joining the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council staff six years ago. The Highlands Council is a 15-member appointed body tasked with implementation of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act of 2004. The Highlands Council is advised in its actions by its Executive Director, who serves as the chief administrative officer of the Council.

The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act was passed to protect the Highlands from piecemeal development patterns that were consuming 5-square-miles of Highlands forests and wetlands each year. The Highlands Council’s primary goal is to uphold this Act and protect the Highlands, a physiographic region of New Jersey that includes 88 municipalities within 7 counties and provides drinking water for over 5 million residents of New Jersey. As I’ve seen under past state administrations, it’s hard not to lose sight of protecting water sources while wading through the polluted waters of partisan fighting - but I know Lisa can do it.

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Plastic bags will soon be joining the dodo bird -- history

When you bring stuff home, what do you do with all the plastic bags it was packed in?

Do you cram them in the trash (probably into a bigger plastic bag) or do you stash them away for next time you need to carry something? Maybe keep them near the door to grab when you walk the dog and need to clean up after him. Or maybe you are one of those environmentally-conscious folks who saves them for the recycling box in the supermarket lobby.

No matter, really, because lawyers who draft bills and ordinances for government consider them all to be "single-use plastic bags."

Manufacturers disagree, of course, arguing they are 100 percent reusable and recyclable and claiming nine out of ten Americans reuse plastic bags at least once for everything from storage to waste disposal to packing materials.

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State attorney general sues SJ Gas, Deull Fuel, over Atlantic City pollution

ATLANTIC CITY — The state is suing South Jersey Gas, the Deull Fuel Co. and other firms over contamination of a block of land near the bay where S.J. Gas has been cleaning up a former manufactured gas plant site for almost two years.

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Lisa Plevin, a former chief of staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region II office, will become the new executive director of the Highlands Council.

The council voted unanimously to appoint Plevin, who’s expected to take up the post in August. She replaces Margaret Nordstrom, who held the job since 2014.

The appointment of Plevin, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), is the latest move by Gov. Phil Murphy to reshape the council, which oversees the Highlands region, a sprawling area of more than 800,000 acres of woodland, lakes and hills that provides drinking water to 6 million people.

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State Sen. Bob Smith has long argued for a toll to help fund renewal of New Jersey’s century-old water system. He thinks the time just might be right to get it done

It has never won support in the past, but a state senator is reviving a decades-old bill that would impose a fee on water use to fund the rebuilding of New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure.

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New Jersey environmentalists say plastic bag fee not enough

On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy removed any mention of a 5-cent fee associated with single-use bags from the state budget via a line-item veto, reports 

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Is 5-cent fee for plastic bags headed for the trash? N.J. environmentalists hope so

Nothing is in the bag when it comes to a proposed 5-cent fee for single-use bags.

The measure is in limbo after Gov. Phil Murphy used a line-item veto to remove any language related to the proposed bag fees from the state budget on Monday. It is unclear how Murphy views the proposed fees, but environmental groups want him to ditch the bill in favor of stricter regulations.  

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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.

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