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

PRESS CONTACT press@njlcv.org

STATE STILL STRUGGLING WITH STORMWATER RUNOFF, CAN NEW BILL HELP?

The state is reviving a decade-old idea to help New Jersey address a $15 billion problem to better manage stormwater runoff, an issue widely recognized as fouling waterways and exacerbating flooding.

Borrowing a concept already in place in more than 40 states, the Senate Environment and Energy Committee approved a bill (S-1073) to allow towns and counties to set up stormwater utilities as a mechanism for controlling pollution from runoff.

The bill, or some version of it, has been kicked around by lawmakers for years, but has had a tough time winning approval — and when it did, former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the measure.

Sen. Bob Smith, a Democrat from Middlesex who is chairman of the committee and sponsored of the bill, is cautiously optimistic this time. “We’re not doing any victory laps because it’s going to be a very hard bill to pass,’’ he said, adding, “this is the best version of a stormwater utilities bill I’ve seen in a long time.’’

Continue Reading

Environmental groups vary in grading Gov. Murphy's first 100 days

Murphy at the STOP Act bill signing

Environmental groups are varied in how they grade Gov. Phil Murphy on his first 100 days.

The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund gave him an A-, while New Jersey Sierra Club graded him a C.

“Murphy has indeed delivered on some of his commitments including blocking offshore drillings, promoting environmental justice, and promoting offshore wind,” Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said in a press release.

But he said the administration also has cut the Department of Environmental Protection budget and is taking some of its surplus, and is still taking money from the Clean Energy Fund -- which is created through surcharges on utility customers' monthly bills -- for the general fund. 

In contrast, League of Conservation Voters Education Fund Executive Director Ed Potosnak said Murphy gets high marks, calling the first 100 days “a whirlwind of pro-environmental actions, propelling New Jersey back to a leadership position to become the greenest state in America.”

Continue Reading

Governor Murphy Earns High Marks on Environment in First 100 Days

TRENTON, NJ- New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (New Jersey LCV Ed Fund), a statewide organization dedicated to preserving our environment, released its Murphy Administration Environmental Tracker today to highlight Governor Murphy’s first 100 days in office. Last year the New Jersey LCV Ed Fund conducted Green in ’17, a robust education and public engagement effort with the goal of elevating environmental issues in the 2017 gubernatorial election.

 

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund’s Executive Director Ed Potosnak said, “Governor Murphy’s first 100 days has been a whirlwind of pro-environmental actions, propelling New Jersey back to a leadership position to become the greenest state in America. Right now, on the governor’s desk sits a bill requiring New Jersey to achieve over 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, a great down payment for the Governor Murphy’s commitment to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.”

Continue Reading

Environment Briefs: Gov. Murphy's advisors say clean energy first priority

Governor Phil Murphy's Environment and Energy Transition Advisory Committee says the administration's first priority should be making a clean energy future a reality in New Jersey.

It proposed four main priorities for the new administration last week, in its report.

The priorities were in line with the “Environmental Agenda ’18, New Jersey’s Conservation Road Map,” released by a coalition of 30 environmental groups last Fall, said New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Ed Potosnak. 

The NJLCV Education Fund led that effort, and the road map gave the new administration a list of priorities in nine categories the groups want the administration to tackle in its first 100 days, first year and first term.

Continue Reading

Environmental Agenda '18 Maps a Plan for Governor Murphy

Agenda 18 Press Conference

Governor Phil Murphy was sworn in to office on January 16, 2018, and with his new role comes the responsibility of addressing environmental issues facing the Garden State. In response to these challenges, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund released Environmental Agenda ’18: New Jersey’s Conservation Roadmap, a report that contains expert recommendations and goals to address top environmental challenges and ensure a cleaner, greener New Jersey in mid-November. Environmental Agenda ’18 makes recommendations for Murphy's first 100 days, first year, and first term.

Continue Reading

Clean, plentiful water is New Jersey’s lifeblood

Fishermen enjoy the clean, beautiful waters of New Jersey.

Much is overhyped lately, but there is no exaggerating the importance of abundant clean water. Quite simply, it’s critical to our health, environment and economy.

Unlike some states where water is scarce, New Jersey is defined by water. We’re bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Hudson River, Delaware River and Delaware Bay, and have an almost uncountable number of rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, marshes, bays and estuaries.

With nearly 9 million residents, a thriving agricultural industry and many water-dependent businesses, the Garden State’s clean water needs are enormous. But so are the threats.

Continue Reading

OP-ED: SINK OR SWIM? TIME FOR SERIOUS ACTION ON CLIMATE IN NJ

Hurricane Sandy

The latest hurricane disasters are yet another wake-up call. Climate change is happening and causing sea-level rise, worsening storm surges, increasing air temperatures that lead to more rainfall, and boosting water temperatures — all of which make storms more severe. July 2017 was the hottest month ever measured on earth, raising the temperature (up to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average) of the Gulf of Mexico, and making Harvey wetter and stronger, jumping to a Category 4 hurricane just hours before making landfall — an unprecedented event in decades of record keeping. Millions of people have been affected. People are in need of shelter and services, and just as we saw after Superstorm Sandy, damaged facilities are spewing toxic materials into communities, and public health is at risk.

Continue Reading

OPINION: In the Highlands, it’s all about the water

If you drink Budweiser, you’re drinking water from New Jersey’s Highlands.

A rugged, mostly forested 1,250-square-mile region stretching diagonally across northern New Jersey, the Highlands supplies drinking water to about 6.2 million people, or more than 70 percent of the state’s population. That includes residents of Newark, Jersey City and Paterson, the state’s three largest cities, as well as parts of 16 of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

Thanks to purification provided naturally and for free by Highlands forests, the region’s water is among the cleanest and least expensive in the U.S.

New Jersey’s pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and food and beverage industries depend on this clean Highlands water. When you’re enjoying an ice cold Bud or other brew made at Anheuser Busch’s Newark plant, toast the waters of the Highlands.

Continue Reading

America doesn't care about climate change because we elected Trump? Hogwash! | Opinion

President Trump pulled the US from the Paris Accord on climate change shortly after meeting with world leaders earlier this year.

When the solar eclipse happened on Aug. 21, millions of people in the continental U.S. went outdoors to witness this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon of nature. No one called it a hoax, denied it was happening, or asked what was the cause.

Climate change – and the human activity that causes it – is equally validated by scientists, but unfortunately some continue to deny the reality as the clock ticks and temperatures rise.

In a recent column, Paul Mulshine falsely concluded that voters don’t care that much about climate change because they elected a climate-denying president who promised to lead the resurgence of coal mining.

Hogwash! Voters in New Jersey care deeply about the environment. According to a recent poll by Washington, D.C.-based Global Strategies Group commissioned by the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, 62 percent want the government to do more to address climate change, and 57 percent oppose President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Seventy-one percent want our next governor to be a leader in fighting climate change, and more than two-thirds support moving New Jersey to a 100 percent clean energy portfolio.

Continue Reading

Environmental Advocates & Rep. Watson Coleman Call Out Trump EPA Budget Cuts, As New Analysis Shows Impact on the Delaware River Watershed

Drew Tompkins, NJLCV policy coordinator, speaks at the Save EPA press event.

TRENTON – With a deadline for Congress to approve a federal budget approaching by the end of next month, public officials, environmentalists, public health advocates and business organizations joined the call for full funding of EPA to protect the Delaware River watershed around the release of a new report detailing the success of the EPA and the impacts of the Trump Administration’s full-frontal budget cuts on EPA’s mission. The effort was part of a broader effort by the New Jersey environmental community to rally public support to support the mission of the EPA in the face of funding and regulatory rollbacks.

Rough Waters Ahead: The Impact of the Trump Administration’s EPA Budget Cuts on the Delaware River Basin," issued today by Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center, examined the impacts of the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts to EPA water programs on the Delaware River watershed. More specifically, the report found that the EPA has jurisdiction for more than 1,000 pollution permits in the lower Delaware, the proposed Trump budget would slash enforcement by more than 25%, had to take over the clean-ups for 4 Superfund sites in the watershed and millions of dollars of funding to reduce water pollution is still up in the air.

Continue Reading