Click on a topic for more information:
- Pinelands Pipeline Plan
- e-Waste Programs Facing Elimination
- State Water Supply Master Plan
- NJ Legislature Updates
ANJEC has received a number of requests for assistance with opposing South Jersey Gas’ proposed pipeline through the Pinelands. We have attached a sample resolution for your Environmental Commissions’ and Governing Bodies’ consideration in advance of the Pinelands Commission’s Feb 24 meeting.
Click here for the sample resolution.
Do you live in a Pinelands County?
Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester or Ocean?
If so, please ask you municipality to reach out to your Board of Chosen Freeholders, who have a voting member on the Pinelands Commission, and
ASK THEM TO VOTE NO ON FEB 24.
Pinelands Commission Meeting
February 24th at 9:30 a.m.
Crowne Plaza Grand Ballroom, Cherry Hill NJ
The Pinelands Commission announced a new location and date for their February meeting. They rescheduled it for February 24th at 9:30 am at the Crowne Plaza Grand Ballroom located at 2349 West Marlton Pike in Cherry Hill.
The Grand Ballroom can accommodate a large crowd and we anticipate that the Commission will vote on whether or not to approve the South Jersey Gas pipeline project.
If you are on Facebook you can join the meeting event here.
Public Comment is Closed
You can read and share the comments that Pinelands Preservation Alliance submitted in opposition to this project. They can be found here. ANJEC’s comments focused on requesting a second opportunity for public comment since hundreds of people were forced to either leave or stand in the freezing rain for house because the meeting room failed to meet the capacity of the of the number of people who wanted to testify. The Pinelands Commission has not scheduled a second opportunity for public comment.
New Jersey’s Electronic Waste Management Act requires manufacturers that sell their electronic products in New Jersey to develop and fund programs that provide convenient, free recycling of televisions, computers and monitors. It is illegal to dispose of these items, which often contain toxic materials, in the regular trash stream. Many counties and municipal environmental commissions host free collection stations or collection events that have been supported by manufacturer recycling contracts, and residents have come to value and rely on this service.
Over time, some manufacturers have looked for ways to minimize or avoid their obligations under the e-Waste law, and in the past few years they have had increasing success. This is affecting the ability of counties and municipalities to offer free collection events.
AS OF JANUARY, THIRTEEN COUNTIES HAVE ABANDONED E-WASTE RECYCLING, OR OPTED TO PAY THE COST OF HIRING PRIVATE RECYCLERS TO CONTINUE THEIR PROGRAMS. ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONS ARE LEARNING THAT THEIR COUNTIES NO LONGER HAVE ACCESS TO FREE DISPOSAL OF E-WASTE, AND THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HOST COLLECTION EVENTS AS THEY HAVE IN THE PAST.
Material is piling up at various collection sites, as well as at homes. Also, some retailers such as Best Buy are now charging a fee to collect televisions and computers, not accepting equipment over a certain size, or limiting their collection in other ways.
In late 2015, Governor Christie pocket vetoed A-4763, a bill that would have reformed some provisions of the e-Waste law to get the recycling programs back on track. NJDEP was in support of the bill, as was the Association of NJ Recyclers and a majority of the Senate and Assembly. The Legislature is now reconsidering the bill (concurrent versions in both the Assembly A-2375 and Senate S-981) for 2016 in hopes of bringing it to a vote again in the near future.
If your town and commission are concerned about the lack of e-waste recycling and potential harmful disposal of hazardous and toxic e-wastes, contact your NJ representatives to tell them how you feel (see sample letter). Explain the effects on your community, your county and your taxes as the free programs disappear. Also send a copy to the Governor’s office, as his signature is needed for the bill to go into effect after it passes both houses of the Legislature.
NJ Legislature -Click on “Find Your Legislator” for Assembly and Senate representatives’ contact information for your town.
Governor Chris Christie: Office of the Governor, PO Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625
Submit a message through the Governor’s website.
To read A-2375 or S-981, search for the bills by number on the NJ Legislature website “Bills 2016-2017”
Please explain this problem to your municipal officials and residents, and encourage them to write to their representatives, too.
State Water Supply Master Plan
Gov. Chris Christie’s failure to release an update to the State Water Supply Master Plan is threatening New Jersey’s supply of clean, fresh drinking water. On Earth Day 2015, in April, the state Senate Legislative Oversight Committee held a hearing at which experts testified on the need for an updated Water Supply Master Plan. Our current plan is 20 years old and 15 years overdue for an update. The Legislature requested that the governor release the draft plan immediately, yet amidst a drought watch, there is still no sign of the plan.
The Water Supply Master Plan works as an accounting checkbook for New Jersey’s water supplies. The goal is to ensure that we have enough clean water for residents, business, power production, farming, and the environment for this and future generations. The master plan includes recommendations to balance the amount of water we use with the amount of water that replenishes the sources of that water — our shared streams, rivers and underground water sources known as aquifers.
New Jersey’s water woes are compounded by the fact that business and residents are also using more water than ever, according to estimates released in August by the United States Geological Survey. Increases in New Jersey’s population over the past 10 years are one of the reasons for this increased use.
According to preliminary research by ANJEC, more water is being taken out than is being replenished in one of our major aquifers, the Kirkwood-Cohansey in South Jersey. That aquifer, which runs beneath southern Monmouth County and all of Ocean County, supplies drinking water to approximately 3 million of New Jersey’s 9 million residents. ANJEC’s estimates show that if all the permits for water use granted by the DEP were used to their fullest extent, portions of the aquifer would violate safe levels of use by more than 1,000 percent.
The lack of a Water Supply Master Plan to ensure clean and plentiful water in the Garden State puts public health, welfare, and the environment at risk. New Jersey residents, businesses, and farmers have benefitted from living in a traditionally water rich state. Our state’s economy is intimately linked to water supply. Three of the Garden State’s top economic generating industries, agriculture, tourism and pharmaceutical research and manufacturing, are dependent on a clean and plentiful supply of water.
The lessons of California’s water scarcity should be ringing loudly in the ears of New Jersey officials. We have time to correct the problem of over-using water in the Garden State, but we need to act now. The governor needs to release the updates to the Water Supply Master Plan immediately. Once the draft plan prepared by the DEP is released, experts on the Water Supply Advisory Committee can review and provide feedback on the plan, and scheduling public hearings to discuss water concerns will legally be required.
Towns are encouraged to pass the Resolution in Support of Clean Water Supplies
ANJEC has joined other environmental organizations in opposing natural gas development using hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) that threatens the quality of our waterways by extracting millions of gallons of water from the Delaware River and its tributaries. (See letter) The water is then laced with toxic chemicals including volatile organic chemicals and carcinogens like benzene, methyl benzene, and formaldehyde and injected below ground into the well. The process releases these as well as naturally occurring toxic chemicals that are trapped in the shale deposits, and brings them to the surface in the wastewater.
ANJEC supports a ban on hydrofracking and for regulation by the Delaware River Basin Commission to prevent pollution and avoid degradation of the water resources and ecosystems of the Delaware River Watershed.
At least three New Jersey municipalities have enacted ordinances banning fracking and dozens of NJ communities have passed resolutions opposing the dangerous consequences of hydrofracking.
Click here for a sample resolution for use by municipalities.
- Fracking – Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature have approved (A575/S253) banning the importation of hydrofracking waste water for treatment, storage or disposal in New Jersey. Although there is no fracking activity in the state at this time, at least three New Jersey sites--in Carteret, Elizabeth and South Kearny--have already accepted fracking waste, according to records from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Governor Christie vetoed A575/S253 in September 2012, in spite of vigorous support by dozens of environmental commissions, many other environmental groups and over 22,000 petition signatures by residents to ban the transportation of hydrofracking waste water for treatment, storage or disposal in New Jersey.
In March 2015, the Obama administration unveiled the nation’s first major federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing.