Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt
The New Jersey Statehouse
The New Jersey Statehouse

The outgoing administration has prioritized economic development at the expense of the public and the environment. If long-term economic vitality and prosperity are goals to be achieved in New Jersey, environmental quality, public health and safety and support for the state’s most vulnerable communities must take precedence.

Over the course of the outgoing administration, the use of planning has fallen by the wayside. The State Development and Redevelopment Plan provides the framework yet has not been updated for 16 years. Therefore, many land use decisions are currently based on obsolete information. As the most densely populated state in the country, New Jersey will likely be fully developed by the year 2050. A blueprint must be followed to navigate the course to New Jersey’s bright future.

Continue Reading

Recommendations

  • Strengthen commissions, councils, committees
  • Take action to plan for an environmentally-sound future
  • Articulate environmental priorities

First 100 Days

Incorporate key environmental issues in the Governor’s inaugural and budget addresses articulating priorities for the new administration and include:
-- Achieving 100 percent clean energy
-- Safeguarding clean drinking water
-- Prioritizing open space
Reinvigorate the State Planning Commission by issuing an Executive order that directs it to update the draft State Plan and include smart growth goals and targets
Create a Cabinet-level committee with representation across state agencies to coordinate and update policies to reduce lead exposure in housing, water and soils
Issue an Executive order affirming the administration’s commitment to EJ principles and protection of vulnerable communities
Reconstitute the EJ Advisory Committee and appoint appropriate members of the EJ community to the committee
Replace chairpersons of the New Jersey Highlands Council and New Jersey Pinelands Commission with existing members, consistent with criteria in "First Year" below

First Year

Release updated draft State Plan
Outline priorities and charge the Commission to issue an updated draft State Plan which should include smart growth goals and targets
Strengthen the Highlands Council and Pinelands Commission with appointees who support the goals and objectives of the Pinelands and Highlands acts and who will prioritize the capacity-based planning initiatives of the Pinelands Comprehensive Plan and the Highlands Regional Master Plan
Utilize the expertise and experience of appropriate nonprofit organizations when appointing members to the respective planning agencies
Instruct the DEP Commissioner to adopt a policy of assessing cumulative impacts and include that information in the decision-making process for permits
Implement lead-reduction policies of cabinet-level committee
Integrate science into permitting decisions
Direct the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to set a deadline for zero emissions at seaports, rail and airport complexes
Convene an EJ stakeholder group to provide input on how to accomplish this as well as other environmental improvements at these facilities
New Jersey LCV Education Fund greatly appreciates each organization’s contributions and valued expertise shared in this effort as well as the immeasurable commitment put forward to protecting New Jersey’s environment:

The American Littoral SocietyAssociation of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC)Clean Ocean Action (COA)ClimateMamaEnvironmental Defense Fund (EDF)GreenFaithHackensack RiverkeeperIronbound Community Corporation (ICC)Isles, Inc.Moms Clean Air ForceMonmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF)New Jersey AudubonThe NJ Clean Cities CoalitionNew Jersey Conservation FoundationNew Jersey FutureNew Jersey Highlands CoalitionNJ Work Environment Council (WEC)NY/NJ BaykeeperNew York-New Jersey Trail ConferencePinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA)Raritan Headwaters Association (RHA)ReThink Energy NJSave Barnegat BayStony Brook-Millstone Watershed AssociationThe Land Conservancy of New JerseyTri-State Transportation CampaignThe Trust for Public LandWilliam Penn FoundationGeraldine R. Dodge FoundationThe Fund for New Jersey

View Other Policy Recommendations