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.
News Article • 11/4/2015 • by David Giambusso at Politico
Environmentalists ran a victory lap Wednesday as green candidates scored decisive victories in some Assembly districts and others staged upsets.
The environment and energy are usually considered less-burning topics in public opinion polls, though that dynamic has changed slowly in New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy. Green groups and pro-environment legislators say the election Tuesday is providing evidence that issues relating to climate change are becoming more important in the minds of voters.
"What we saw was a record number seeking our endorsement, a record number getting our endorsement and a record number winning," Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said in an interview on Wednesday. "We had a record night last night."
News Article • 8/15/2015 • by Ed Potosnak at NJ.com
Childhood health and obesity has increasingly become a problem. More than one-third of American children and adolescents are now either obese or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Rather than playing outside and being active, kids now spend five to seven hours a day watching TV, on the computer or playing video games. In many areas of New Jersey there simply are not enough open spaces for kids to get outside for healthy recreation.
News Article • 7/9/2015 • by Ed Potosnak and Gene Karpinski at Press of Atlantic City
At a time when too many representatives in Congress are sticking their heads in the sand about our environmental challenges, Rep. Frank LoBiondo is calling for action to protect South Jersey's environment and backing up his words with his votes.