News Article • 12/21/2017 • by Michele S. Byers at Shore News Today
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.
News Article • 10/3/2017 • by Dan Fatton at NJ Spotlight
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.
News Article • 9/18/2017 • by Michele S. Byers at Daily Record
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.
News Article • 9/16/2017 • by Ed Potosnak at NJ.com
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.
Environmental Advocates & Rep. Watson Coleman Call Out Trump EPA Budget Cuts, As New Analysis Shows Impact on the Delaware River Watershed
Press Release • 8/29/2017
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.
News Article • 8/28/2017 • by Michele S. Byers at Daily Record
When you turn on the lights, you’re probably not thinking about where your energy comes from. But the source of our energy has huge impacts on the health of New Jersey’s families, environment, communities and economy.
What are the choices? Will we continue to increase our dependence on fossil fuels? Oil and gas have been cheap and plentiful for many years but they can and do pollute our air and water, threaten human health, and generate emissions leading to climate change. Or will we catch a new wave of clean, renewable energy sources — like responsibly-sited offshore wind and solar — and boosting energy efficiency? Long thought of as futuristic, solar and wind are rapidly becoming cost effective and more readily available.
Not long ago, New Jersey was a national leader in clean energy and energy efficiency. For example, in 1999 the state adopted the “Renewable Portfolio Standard” which required retail electric suppliers to obtain a percentage of their energy from renewable sources.
But our clean energy efforts have lagged since Gov. Christie withdrew New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and his administration delayed progress on offshore wind. The Christie administration’s current policies favor increased use of natural gas to generate energy.
News Article • 8/18/2017 • by Tom Johnson at NJ Spotlight
The federal government yesterday awarded nearly $70 million to New Jersey to help fund projects to upgrade sewage-treatment plants and drinking-water systems.
The allocation should help finance more than a half-billion-dollars worth of projects through the state’s Environmental Infrastructure Trust, a vehicle set up to help communities fund clean-water projects.
The award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is part of an annual appropriation to help the state raise water quality by improving treatment at wastewater plants and public systems providing drinking water to residents.
The money will help put a dent into one of New Jersey’s most pressing infrastructure needs — upgrading aging sewage-treatment systems and drinking water facilities.
Press Release • 7/17/2017
The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund is pleased to announce the addition of a former federal environmental protection official to its Green in ’17 team.
Lisa J. Plevin, former chief of staff for Region 2 of the US Environmental Protection Agency, will lead the environmental group’s transition planning initiative to help New Jersey’s next gubernatorial administration identify short- and long-term environmental priorities to re-establish New Jersey as an environmental leader.
Green in ’17 is an education campaign whose goal is to elevate discussion of key environmental issues in the gubernatorial election. One measure of the program’s success came on May 9, when 40% of the questions asked of Democratic candidates participating in the first gubernatorial debate were about environmental issues such as climate change and off-shore drilling, as were 20% of the questions asked of the Republican candidates.
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 • 4/30/2017 • by MALIK A. LYONS at Tap Into
Thousands of people gathered Saturday in the nation's capital to demand action on climate change, and hundreds of them came from New Jersey, and many of them were residents of Franklin Township and surrounding towns.
"It is vital that we get the message out and we keep it alive, how important it is that we do the right things with regards to the climate to save the environment," Councilwoman Rozalyn Sherman (Ward-2) said, as she was heading out on one of the many buses leaving the state to travel to D.C.
"We're thrilled that we are sending two buses through the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and our Green in 17 campaign which is elevating conservation issues in the garden state," Ed Potosnak executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund said. "Particularly around the governors' race, we are partnering with some folks from Newark to get down there and march. We are really excited, we sold out our buses three weeks ago. There's just been so much overwhelming interest in showing up and standing up for what we believe in. There are buses all across the state, we're not the only ones, there are buses leaving from New Brunswick, folks leaving from Princeton, Berkley Heights, West Orange, and Bayonne, so it's definitely going to be a massive event."