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  • EPA Clean Water Rule To Take Effect Tomorrow, Protecting Wetlands & More than 4,000 Miles of New Jersey Streams | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    feet of water according to a new report by Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center The analysis Shelter from the Storm How Wetlands Protect Our Communities from Flooding says the area s wetlands are at risk from pollution and development however and so is the region s natural shield against flood damage Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States causing an average of 8 2 billion in damage each year for the past 30 years As global warming continues scientists predict that the damage caused by floods will only increase Warmer air is able to hold more water vapor leading to higher levels of precipitation during rain and snowstorms At the start of this decade storms were already producing 78 percent more precipitation in the Northeast than they did in the 1950s The analysis shows New Jersey boasts approximately 687 000 acres of freshwater wetlands statewide In the counties for which flood hazard data are available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA more than 125 000 acres of the state s freshwater wetlands are in 100 year flood zones In South Jersey in Gloucester County there are more than 32 000 acres of freshwater wetlands of which more than 14 000 acres are located in 100 year flood zones Together these wetlands are capable of holding more than 10 6 billion gallons of water in Gloucester County alone Statewide wetlands are capable of holding more than 224 billion gallons of water As a reference an acre of wetland one foot deep can hold more than 330 000 gallons of water Addressing a loophole created by Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 the Clean Water Rule restores protections to streams that feed drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans Millions of acres of wetlands vital for flood control and filtering pollutants are also again shielded under federal law The court rulings had put small streams headwaters and certain wetlands including close to half of the streams in New Jersey in a perilous legal limbo This allowed polluters and developers to dump into them or destroy them in many cases without any federal oversight In a four year period following the decisions the U S Environmental Protection Agency had to drop more than 1 500 investigations against polluters according to one analysis by The New York Times The Clean Water Rule adopted this May 28 following a decade long push by Environment New Jersey and others ensures that such pollution cases can be prosecuted On the front end federal officials can now protect these waters with enforceable limits on pollution Environment New Jersey Clean Water Action Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association the New Jersey Sierra Club and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network in conjunction with local farmers and businesses held a town hall meeting on the night the EPA Clean Water Rule was announced this spring in Pennington and released a video produced by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network outlining public support for the rule This loophole in

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/epa-clean-water-rule-take-effect-tomorrow-protecting-wetlands-more-4000-miles-new-jersey (2016-05-01)
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  • On 5th Anniversary of Gov. Christie’s own Off-Shore Wind Bill, Advocates, Legislators, Businesses, Officials Urge an End to the Delay on Off-Shore Wind | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    Atlantic City implementing the long overdue OREC regulations and open new windows for new project submissions at the BPU all of which can be done immediately said Paul Gallagher COO of Fishermen s Energy a Cape May County off shore wind company Offshore wind power could play a crucial role in meeting carbon pollution reduction targets under the U S Environmental Protection Agency s finalized Clean Power Plan which will require New Jersey to reduce its carbon emissions from power plants by close to an quarter by 2030 as well as attaining the state s Renewable Portfolio Standard RPS mandate with in state renewable energy Five years ago the Governor signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act He promised that we would have clean energy from wind and instead he has blocked offshore wind in New Jersey This has cost New Jersey thousands of jobs hurting our economy and preventing clean renewable energy in our state New Jersey has enough potential of offshore wind to meet 1 3 of our electrical needs said Jeff Tittel Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club Because of the Governor s failed policies there is a port sitting empty a factory ready to be built and companies willing to invest money However Christie is holding offshore wind hostage to his national political ambitions The failure to do the financial rules has held up this important investment in offshore wind Not only have the Administration rejected offshore wind three times by voting down Fisherman s Energy Project they have not done financing rules New Jersey was supposed to be the first in the nation for offshore wind Rhode Island did not beat us to it On this Anniversary we need to demand that the BPU and the Governor make offshore wind a reality in New Jersey A 2014 analysis by Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center also shows the potential for offshore wind in New Jersey and how it could significantly expand in New Jersey over the next 15 years producing enough power more than 25 000 gigawatt hours for a majority of New Jersey s residential homes and offsetting the dangerous pollution of dirty energy sources The global warming emissions reductions would be more than 20 million metric tons of global warming pollution reduced per year The letter cites the urgent need to ramp up wind power production to help curb the pollution fueling global warming leading to extreme weather events and rising sea levels such as Hurricane Sandy and Irene Tapping the state s offshore wind potential would yield economic as well as environmental benefits Even with the lack of progress over the last five years South Jersey and manufacturing centers like Paulsboro are still well situated A wind turbine manufacturing facility is projected to create more than 1 000 jobs and an additional 100 million in economic benefits When you signed the Off Shore Wind Economic Development Act OWEDA into law five years ago today on August 19 2010 you said Developing

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/5th-anniversary-gov-christie%E2%80%99s-own-shore-wind-bill-advocates-legislators-businesses (2016-05-01)
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  • Off-Shore Wind Letter to Gov. Christie | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    facility is projected to create more than 1 000 jobs and an additional 100 million in economic benefits State leaders play a critical role in advancing offshore wind power off their shores The federal government has made significant progress in recent years identifying appropriate locations for offshore wind development including the July 2014 proposal of a notice for sale for 344 000 acres that are ideal for off shore wind off of Atlantic City If fully developed the area could support up to 3 400 MW of off shore wind energy which would power 1 2 million homes We call on you to commit to the following actions and move New Jersey toward realizing a clean energy future Fulfill the goal for offshore wind power in New Jersey s Energy Master Plan EMP of 3 000 MW and in the OWEDA legislation you signed into law which required 1 100 MW As states move forward with strategies to implement the EPA s Clean Power Plan off shore wind power offers a unique and scalable pollution free power source to meet local carbon emission reduction targets New Jersey will need to reduce emissions close to a quarter over the next 15 years off shore wind is the best way to do that Implement policies that ensure a competitive market for offshore wind power by ordering the Board to Public Utilities to release the Off Shore Renewable Energy Credit OREC proposal as required under the 2010 off shore wind legislation This is a crucial step in allowing the state to move forward with the off shore wind leasing process There is strong interest in New Jersey s Wind Energy Areas but the auction process for the Department of Interior leases will be obviously hampered without an OREC system in place and it will not be possible to meet the goals of OWEDA or the state EMP without action by the BPU The news last week that the BPU will be hiring an independent consultant to assist with the OREC rules is welcome but only if the BPU commits to an aggressive timeline with deadlines to implement OWEDA and revises the Energy Master Plan to reflect that new timeline Green light the Fishermen s Energy pilot off shore wind project off Atlantic City Order the Board of Public Utilities to reconsider their opposition Previous decisions by the BPU have negated the importance of the federal Department of Energy 50 million plus grant and cast aspersions on Fishermen s Energy financing despite the stamp of approval from the Ratepayer Advocate The extraordinary chain of events that has lead Fishermen s Energy to need to file legal action against the BPU for failure to greenlight a project that met significant benchmarks is hard to imagine if New Jersey wants to move forward on off shore wind Ensure an efficient transparent and environmentally responsible offshore wind leasing process that protects wildlife including marine mammals sea turtles and migratory birds Recruit an off shore wind OEM manufacturer

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/shore-wind-letter-gov-christie (2016-05-01)
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  • Paddling against the wind | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    with the Garden State s senators and representatives She spoke with her policy makers about the importance of the EPA Clean Water Rule which although not a silver bullet solution is the biggest step for clean water in more than a decade She pointed to Columbus Ohio as an example of the kinds of problems we re facing as a nation The water in that area is so full of nitrates and phosphorous that there s warnings that pregnant women shouldn t drink the water she said So now Columbus is recommending a 35 million dollar upgrade to their water treatment facility What Why not just stop the pollution Why not crack down on the polluters causing the problem Why are we letting big polluters get away with contaminating our water and then using the public s tax dollars to pay for the cleanup of that water During her journey this summer Pellegrino stayed with local residents including sailors fishermen and others that depend on clean water for their livelihood I was impressed with how well versed people are with their own waterways It s something they really care about she said No matter where they sit on the political spectrum the local residents I talked with are very concerned about water quality There are more fans for clean water then there are fans for elected politicians I wish our elected officials would remember that On Thursday Aug 6 Environment New Jersey hosted a welcome home party for Margo that included a celebratory paddle along Rancocas Creek a tributary of the Delaware River that provides drinking water for towns across Burlington County the U S Army base Fort Dix and is a source for the Delran intake which provides South Jersey with the vast majority of its surface drinking water

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/blogs/environment-america-blog/ame/paddling-against-wind (2016-05-01)
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  • Carbon Pollution Wild West No Longer: EPA Carbon Plan Inked, Huge Step on Climate To Tackle Fossil Fuel Plant Pollution | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    set to cut a higher percentage of its carbon than all but three other states by 2025 The EPA s Clean Power Plan is achievable and will create a net economic benefit Solar energy and wind energy are dropping in cost so fast they are already starting to take over In 2014 solar and wind provided more than half of all new electric generation capacity built in the U S said Lyle Rawlings President of the Mid Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association New Jersey is well positioned to meet its limits with increased development of clean energy for which it has vast potential Environment New Jersey Research Policy Research shows that New Jersey has enough solar potential to power the entire state 7 times over Generating 30 of the country s electricity from wind would also eliminate as much pollution as 4 2 million cars in New Jersey By developing New Jersey s abundant offshore wind resource the State can develop the new power generation it will need as coal and nuclear plants go offline can grow its economy with new jobs and investment while being carbon neutral and can stem the impact of climate change by moving towards an emission free grid We need the demonstration project in Atlantic City the final implementation of the OREC regulations and an open window for new project submissions at the BPU all of which can be done and done immediately said Paul Gallagher COO of Fishermen s Energy Heat waves extreme flooding and rising sea levels are just a few of the impacts of climate change New Jerseyans have begun to experience and Hurricane Sandy and Irene are just the most visible reminders New Jersey saw a 33 increase in storms with extreme precipitation between 1948 and 2011 Between 2007 and 2012 New Jersey counties suffered an average of 4 federally declared emergency disaster declarations from extreme weather which has only continued over the last 4 years Atlantic County was the worst with 9 federally declared disasters in the time period Scientists predict that without drastic cuts in global warming emissions these effects will likely become catastrophic Former NASA scientist Jim Hansen recently issued a paper arguing that a more intense climate feedback loop could mean a 10 foot high rise in global sea levels by 2050 More conservative estimates from Rutgers University researchers estimate a foot and a half of seal level rise in the next 35 years which would have devastating impacts for Shore communities The Clean Power Plan is also expected to bring public health benefits since cutting power plant pollution also reduces soot smog and other harmful pollutants that are responsible for respiratory illness and even premature deaths The U S Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the Clean Power Plan will save as many as 6 600 lives and prevent up to 150 000 asthma attacks each year In New Jersey alone 154 363 children and 544 513 adults in New Jersey reported having asthma in 2015 America

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/carbon-pollution-wild-west-no-longer-epa-carbon-plan-inked-huge-step-climate-tackle-fossil (2016-05-01)
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  • Super-Paddler Margo Pellegrino Welcomed At Rancocas Creek Homecoming After Paddling for 1,700 Miles for EPA Clean Water Rule | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    s journey has raised public awareness of the many threats to our country s waters The Clean Water Act has been the cornerstone of U S environmental protections ensuring that millions of Americans have access to safe drinking water as well as pollution free places for swimming fishing and hunting We must be as steadfast as Margo was on her 1 700 mile paddle in fighting to protect our nation s clean water said Sen Robert Menendez D NJ In late May the U S Environmental Protection Agency changed that when it finalized a rule to restore protections for the headwaters and streams and wetlands left in legal limbo The move was backed by 800 000 public comments including tens of thousands from New Jerseyans which included farmers small businesses along the Shore and sportsmen Margo is an inspiration for all of us But Margo s tireless efforts show that we can t kayak alone if we want to restore the Clean Water Act We need to move forward with strong state and federal actions and Margo has led that charge Clean water needs more friends and you couldn t ask for a better ally than Margo said Doug O Malley director of Environment New Jersey Developers oil companies and other polluters however have waged a bitter campaign against the Clean Water Rule and their allies in Congress are still pushing this summer to overturn it The U S House voted in May to block the rule and the full Senate will likely not take up a similar measure by Sen John Barrasso R Wyo before their August recess begins by the end of the week Advocates are concerned the Senate Republican leadership could attach a repeal of the Clean Water Rule to a must pass budget bill We applaud Margo for her dedication and commitment for clean water and drawing attention to such an important issue Every year we see more threats to our waterways from toxic chemicals and over development We need to paddle forward to protect our most precious resources our drinking water and our waterways We need to adopt stricter standards for waterways while protecting these important drinking water sources Not only do we need to adopt the Water of the United States rule we need to do more While we are doing this the Christie Administration is rolling back protections like flood hazard rules weakening C1 protections and stream buffer requirements and allowing sewers in environmentally sensitive areas said Jeff Tittel Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club Instead of yacking about clean water Margo s kayaking and we are happy to see her drawing attention to the threats to clean water She might go out and kayak by herself but it will take all of us to work together and clean up the waterways By letting the public know our waters are at risk we can build public support We need to paddle the Christie Administration to protect our waterways The Clean Water Rule

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/super-paddler-margo-pellegrino-welcomed-rancocas-creek-homecoming-after-paddling-1700-miles (2016-05-01)
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  • Climate Contrasts: Same Day as EPA Clean Power Plan Finalized, Gov. Christie Formally Repealed NJ RGGI Climate Rule | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    this wrong headed regulatory decision via the Legislature by a majority vote as soon as possible RGGI has cut pollution by more than a third in the nine participating Northeast states while giving them a 1 3 billion economic boost from 2012 to 2014 according to recent reports by the Analysis Group and Acadia Center We have seen first hand the detrimental impacts of Governor Christie s decision to leave RGGI a program that would help reduce carbon pollution support economic development and help the state comply with the Clean Power Plan said Congressman Frank Pallone Jr NJ 6 Since Governor Christie s initial decision to withdraw New Jersey from RGGI the state has forgone over 100 million in revenue supported by RGGI Now with the withdrawal finalization he is trying to put the nail in the coffin Luckily the President s Clean Power Plan is the single most significant step the U S has taken to reduce carbon pollution and take action on climate change and it will directly address what Governor Christie is unwilling to face the negative impacts of carbon pollution from power plants on public health in New Jersey Despite its benefits Gov Christie withdrew New Jersey from RGGI in 2011 and hasn t enforced state rules capping the state s power plant emissions since Following the successful outcome of a lawsuit from Environment New Jersey and the Natural Resources Defense Council decided in March 2014 the Christie Administration was ordered to solicit public input on repealing the NJDEP rule that governs the pollution limits last summer By eliminating New Jersey s participation in RGGI Governor Christie is squandering critical investments in clean energy while selfishly standing in the way of job creation purely for political gain All of this comes on the heels of the announcement of President Obama s Clean Power Plan which marks a significant step forward in the fight against the threat of climate change Taking action now is crucial to ensuring our children and grandchildren will inherent a planet that is cleaner healthier and safer to live But the Governor chooses instead to abandon our responsibly to future generations said Rep Bill Pascrell D 9 That process showed overwhelming support for capping carbon pollution and remaining part of RGGI with the vast majority of the more than 5 000 of oral and written comments supporting the regional cap on power plant pollution This is in addition to the more than 60 000 public comments urging Gov Christie and the New Jersey Legislature to rejoin the RGGI program What the Governor did was shameful and hurts New Jersey financially and hurts our environment RGGI worked and the money collected from RGGI went out to help environmental programs expand renewable energy and help middle class families save money on their electric bills RGGI created more than 1 700 jobs and helped to reduce greenhouse gasses while growing our economy pulling out of RGGI cost New Jersey more then 40 million dollars a year

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/climate-contrasts-same-day-epa-clean-power-plan-finalized-gov-christie-formally-repealed-nj (2016-05-01)
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  • Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    at the Station Report More Research Policy Education Action News Release Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center On Eve of Largest Climate March in History New Jersey Leaders Call for Action on Climate as New Report Reveals State s Most Carbon Polluting Power Plants As international leaders prepare for the UN Climate Summit next week in New York and New Jerseyans prepare to cross the Hudson on Sunday morning for the largest climate march in history a new report shows New Jersey s fossil fuel power plants dump as much carbon pollution into the atmosphere as the entire country of Guatemala Environmental advocates elected officials civic organizations public health groups and clean energy businesses argued the data strengthened the call to march for action on climate in New York and reduce carbon pollution from our power plants Keep Reading Report Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center America s Dirtiest Power Plants As international leaders prepare for the United Nations Climate Summit next week in New York a new study shows America s power plants dump as much carbon pollution into the air any other country s entire economy except China Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center pointed to the report as evidence for why the Environmental Protection Agency s proposal for the nation s first ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants is a critical step in the international fight against global warming Keep Reading News Release Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center New Report Outlines the Cost of Pulling Out of RGGI A new analysis shows that by declining to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative RGGI New Jersey is leaving real environmental and economic benefits on the table Other Northeast and Mid Atlantic states are requiring power companies to pay for the global warming pollution that they emit leading to reductions in pollution and generating billions to fund clean energy Keep Reading News Release Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center New Jerseyans Demand Action on Climate Citizens Speak Out in Favor of RGGI Concerned citizens parents elected officials faith leaders clean energy business owners and environmental advocates gathered today to speak out against a Christie Administration proposal to repeal rules implementing a program to clean up global warming pollution from power plants the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative RGGI Keep Reading News Release Environment New Jersey On Heels of Federal Proposed Sale of NJ Off Shore Wind Leases Report Shows The Immense Potential for Off Shore Wind off the Jersey Shore On the day the Department of Interior announced the proposed sale of leases for more than 343 000 acres off the Jersey Shore for off shore wind leasing a new report shows New Jersey could reap tremendous environmental and economic benefits from offshore wind of the Shore according to the National Wildlife Federation s report Catching the Wind State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power The report analyzes and compares the actions by Atlantic Coast states toward progress on offshore

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/home?page=9 (2016-05-01)
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