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  • Clean water not green water | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    process known as eutophication or the oversupply of nutrients The record breaking bloom of 2011 in Lake Erie was the impetus for a detailed report that includes strategies on how to keep it from happening again focusing on reducing nutrient pollution in the form of phosphorus into the lake A task force also found that Lake Erie received the most phosphorus of any of the Great Lakes nearly 50 percent of the total for all of the lakes with two thirds of that phosphorus from farm land The two reports also note that algal blooms were a massive problem in Lake Erie in the 60s and 70s but were curtailed by reducing and regulating phosphorous use That seemed to basically fix the problem with an occasional flair up into the 80s and early 90s only to reappear this decade worse than ever Toxic algae blooms are not an isolated problem to Ohio Whether its blue green algae in Lake Erie or the recent phenomenon of golden algae blooms in Texas algal blooms should be a concern for everyone that cares about clean water Along with concerns over drinking water contamination harmful algal blooms can also create dead zones that kill aquatic life raise treatment costs for drinking water and hurt businesses and jobs that depend on clean water It doesn t take a scientist to realize that algal blooms can be tough on fishing and tourism No one wants to swim fish or otherwise recreate in potentially toxic water that looks like pea soup or around a bunch of rotting fish carcasses Ultimately though the threat to clean drinking water is the primary concern and increased incidents of blooms contaminating drinking water prompted the Environmental Protection Agency in May to issue health advisories to protect Americans from algal toxins in

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/blogs/environment-america-blog/ame/clean-water-not-green-water (2016-05-01)
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  • The Path to Paris: Report Documents Long Road Ahead for NJ To Reduce Global Warming Pollution | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    report is an alarm bell going off In the first time in a decade under Christie we ve seen an increase in carbon pollution We ve seen solar jobs drop from 10 000 to 5 500 When he took office we were 2nd in the nation for solar installations and now we are 8th We were 8th for energy efficiency and now we ve moved down to 24th Christie has taken over a billion of dollars from the clean energy fund has pulled us out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative closed the Office of Climate Change eliminated climate mitigation programs at the NJDEP rolled back our goals for renewable energy master plan opposed the Obama Administration s Clean Power Plan and blocked offshore wind Governor Christie cares more about his national political agenda and raising money from the Koch Brothers than reducing carbon pollution in New Jersey said Jeff Tittel New Jersey Sierra Club Director The biggest slice of these reductions will come from the Clean Power Plan the proposed federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants expected to be finalized this summer The plan requires an 43 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in New Jersey by 2030 and compels state leaders to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources such as wind and solar It s clear that neighboring states especially New York are leapfrogging ahead to tackle climate pollution said O Malley New Jersey is becoming the land that time forgot on climate policy we re the Rip van Winkel of the climate movement While New Jersey was ranked highly based on the Global Warming Response Act New York State was higher mainly because of the outsize role of RGGI in reducing pollution from fossil fuel plants In an announcement last week Gov Andrew Cuomo announced a New York Energy State Plan that would reduce global warming pollution 40 from 1990 levels by 2030 and mandate a renewable portfolio standard of 50 by 2030 and cutting building energy use by more than 20 by 2030 In anticipation of international climate talks in Paris calls for bold action to curb global warming pollution have ramped up in recent weeks from Pope Francis s encyclical to the Medical Journal The Lancet calling climate change a medical emergency Yesterday China announced a more aggressive goal as part of its climate plan for the Paris climate talks which will extend a reduction in carbon intensity to 60 to 65 percent by 2030 Already China has nearly reached its initial goal by last year with a 33 percent reduction below 2005 levels The announcement extended an initial partnership announced late last year by the Obama Administration and China where the U S pledged to lower its emissions by up to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and China would work to peak its carbon emissions and then decline no later than 2030 The announcement yesterday by the U S and Brazil a carbon top 10 emitter

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/path-paris-report-documents-long-road-ahead-nj-reduce-global-warming-pollution (2016-05-01)
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  • Shining Rewards | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    s rapid expansion in the United States Net metering offsets costs for solar panel owners and credits them for providing excess power to the grid at a set price often the retail electricity rate equivalent to allowing consumers meters to run backwards Net metering is conceptually simple easy to administer and ensures that customers receive compensation that tracks with electricity prices over time Net metering also makes solar energy more economically attractive for residents and businesses Solar energy creates many benefits for the electricity grid Avoided energy costs Solar energy systems produce clean renewable electricity on site reducing the amount of electricity utilities must generate or purchase from fossil fuel fired power plants In addition solar photovoltaic PV systems reduce the amount of energy lost in generation long distance transmission and distribution These losses cost the country millions of dollars every year Avoided capital and capacity investment By reducing overall demand for electricity solar energy production helps ratepayers and utilities avoid the cost of investing in new power plants transmission lines and other forms of electricity infrastructure Reduced financial risks and electricity prices Because the price of solar energy tends to be stable over time while the price of fossil fuels can fluctuate sharply integrating more solar energy into the grid reduces consumers exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices Also by reducing demand for energy from the grid solar PV systems reduce its price saving money for all ratepayers Increased grid resiliency Increasing distributed solar PV decentralizes the grid potentially safeguarding people in one region from other areas that are experiencing problems Avoided environmental compliance costs Increasing solar energy capacity helps utilities avoid the costs of installing new technologies to clean up fossil fuel fired power plants or meeting renewable energy requirements Solar energy also creates valuable benefits for the environment and society at large Avoided greenhouse gas emissions In 2013 the electricity sector was the largest source of global warming emissions responsible for 31 percent of all total U S greenhouse gas pollution Generating energy from the sun provides a renewable source of energy that produces no greenhouse gas emissions Since 2007 solar energy has averted approximately 71 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions Reduces air pollution that harms public health According to the American Lung Association 44 percent of Americans live in a place where pollution often reaches dangerous levels Expanding the nation s ability to obtain clean electricity from the sun reduces our dependence on fossil fuels and lessens the amount of harmful emissions that flow into the air we breathe Creates jobs and spurs local economies The solar energy industry is growing rapidly creating new jobs and businesses across the nation In 2014 the solar energy industry added jobs at a rate 20 times that of the overall economy and economists predict that it will grow at a rate of 20 9 percent in 2015 The benefits solar homeowners provide to the grid and to society generally are often worth more than the benefits they

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/nje/shining-rewards (2016-05-01)
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  • Exxon & Gov. Christie, You’ve Been Served: Enviros File Legal Action To Stop Historic Environmental Sell-Out | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    and Teterboro Airport depot and many other contaminated sites around New Jersey This is not a settlement it is a sellout of the taxpayers and the environment We are going to court to do the job that DEP should do which is to reject this settlement and make Exxon pay their fair share This dirty deal should not stand Not only does it affect Linden and Bayonne but communities from one end of New Jersey to the other The DEP never gave the judge or the public any information on the 16 other sites or the hundreds of gas stations yet the Christie Administration included them in the settlement This makes this dirty deal even dirtier and the corporate subsidy even bigger Exxon must be held liable and must pay for the damages they caused to these communities and the environment We are moving to intervene in this case to represent the people since DEP is more concerned about Exxon We will go into court to uphold the public trust doctrine and make sure polluters pay for the damages to natural resources We are here to put the trust back into the public trust doctrine and ensure those people in those communities get the money they are entitled to said Jeff Tittel director of the NJ Sierra Club The proposed settlement was expanded to include sites that were not in the original lawsuit including 16 Exxon oil facilities around the state and more than 800 gas stations This case was filed in 2004 by the McGreevy administration for the damages that Exxon has done to the environment around the Bayonne and Linden refineries Exxon has been under Administrative Consent Order for the Bayway refinery since 1991 to clean up but little progress has been made We re asking to be heard because this is a bad deal for New Jersey taxpayers public health and the environment said David Pringle NJ Campaign Director Clean Water Action When you add up all the details in the proposed settlement it s a sweetheart deal for Exxon possibly less than half of one tenth of one cent on the dollar for an actual restoration It is a raw deal for the people of New Jersey The public the NJ Legislature and our members have spoken up resoundingly against the settlement and for polluter pays Governor Christie isn t representing the public interest and this isn t a fair deal The damage at the additional 16 other Exxon sites is extensive Most egregious is the Paulsboro Oil Terminal site along 34 acres next to the Delaware River in South Jersey In 1985 over 135 000 gallons leaked into the site Nine major additional spills were reported after the 1985 spill A 2009 report by the DEP found 118 million gallons of groundwater were contaminated on the site and the plume was expected to end up contaminating over 429 million gallons of groundwater across 63 acres Chemicals found in the groundwater include benzene toluene BTEX and

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/exxon-gov-christie-you%E2%80%99ve-been-served-enviros-file-legal-action-stop-historic-environmental (2016-05-01)
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  • Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    and affordable NJ For Transit Stuck at the Station Report More Research Policy Education Action News Release Environment New Jersey NJDEP Coastal Rules Blasted for Doubling Down on Development Failing Climate Change Test The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection NJDEP proposed regulations on coastal development the first since Hurricane Sandy were blasted at the final public hearing by environmental organizations and the public Advocates criticized the proposed regulations as failing to account for climate change s impacts including sea level rise and increased storm surges as allowing more high density development and expanding coastal centers Keep Reading News Release Environment New Jersey Governor Christie Moves Forward with Plan To Double Down on Climate Inaction After announcing its intentions to do so in May the Christie Administration today formally proposed to once again prevent New Jersey from participating in the regional program known as RGGI that limits dangerous climate changing pollution from power plants This action comes despite the New Jersey Legislature twice voting to keep New Jersey in the program overwhelming bipartisan support for pollution limits from state residents and a court ruling earlier this year that a previous attempt to dodge the limits was done illegally Keep Reading News Release Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center New Report Documents Environmental Benefits of Electric Cars More than 220 000 electric and plug in hybrid vehicles are on America s roads today delivering real benefits for our health and our environment according to a new report Driving Cleaner More Electric Vehicles Mean Less Pollution released by Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center In just the last two years annual sales of electric vehicles have increased by 500 percent The report shows that electric vehicles could prevent more than 493 000 metric tons of climate changing carbon pollution annually in New Jersey by 2025 the equivalent of saving more than 55 million gallons of gasoline per year Keep Reading Report Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center Driving Cleaner America s and New Jersey s dependence on gasoline as a transportation fuel worsens global warming and threatens public health Increasing the use of electric vehicles especially those powered by clean renewable sources of electricity can protect the climate and help get us all off oil More than 220 000 electric vehicles are already on the road in the United States producing far less global warming pollution per mile than their internal combustion engine counterparts Keep Reading Report Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center Wasting Our Waterways Industrial facilities continue to dump more than 5 8 million pounds of toxic chemicals into New Jersey s rivers and streams threatening both the environment and human health According to the U S EPA toxic discharges from industrial facilites are reponsible for polluting more than 17 000 miles of rivers and about 210 000 acres of lakes ponds and estuaries nationwide To curb this massive release of toxic chemicals into our nation s water we must step up Clean Water Action protections for our waterways and

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/home?page=10 (2016-05-01)
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  • Obama Admin’s EPA Issues Rule To Protect 4,000 Miles of New Jersey Streams | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    come The court rulings had put small streams headwaters and certain wetlands in a perilous legal limbo allowing polluters and developers to dump into them or destroy them in many cases without a permit In a four year period following the decisions the U S Environmental Protection Agency had to drop more than 1 500 cases against polluters according to one analysis by The New York Times First proposed in March 2014 the joint rule by EPA and the U S Army Corps of Engineers is backed by robust scientific review and has gained broad support across a wide range of constituencies Mayors brewers kayakers anglers small businesses and farmers have signaled their support New Jerseyans joined Americans across the country to submit 800 000 comments in favor of the rule last fall 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 are holding a town hall meeting on the EPA Clean Water Rule tonight in Pennington and released a video produced by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network outlining public support for the rule The Raritan the Passaic the Hackensack the Delaware the Hudson and Barnegat Bay these water bodies define New Jersey But they rely on a network of streams and wetlands that have been at risk for nearly 10 years We are so thrilled that the Obama administration has finalized the Clean Water Rule and ensured that New Jersey s vital streams and wetlands are once again protected said Dave Pringle campaign director for Clean Water Action New Jersey s environmental advocates are among those pushing for restored stream protections for the better part of the last decade gathered more than 70 000 comments from New Jerseyans and held more than 150 000 face to face conversations about the need to close the loophole in the Clean Water Act in the last year alone We applaud the Obama Administration for proposing a new rule that will help protect important waterways wetlands and drinking water for the American people This rule closes loopholes and ends different interpretations on how to protect clean water under the Clean Water Act These are called Waters Of The United States because they belong to all of US They do not belong to developers agribusiness or polluters They belong to the people of this country The same politicians in Washington that want to drill in the Arctic drill off of coast prevent action on reducing greenhouse gases and deny climate change are now trying to deny us clean water This rule will help protect habitat species and fisheries as well as prevent flooding and provide clean drinking water We are supporting the rule and will fight with those in Congress with a dirty water agenda that will take the side of polluters and try to stop this rule from going forward When Woody Guthrie said this land is your land he also included the waters Waters

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/obama-admin%E2%80%99s-epa-issues-rule-protect-4000-miles-new-jersey-streams (2016-05-01)
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  • Earth Day Hike Inspects Forest Targeted for Great Adventure's Solar Project Clearcutting | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    a large swath of forest lands a greenbelt containing exceptional natural resources at the headwaters of both the Toms River which feeds the Barnegat Bay and the Crosswicks Creek which feeds the Delaware River Clear cutting the forest would also lead to sediment erosion that would pollute two adjoining Category One streams one of the highest levels of protection the state grants said Emile DeVito Ph D manager of science with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation Advocates called the mitigation project proposed by Great Flags as inadequate They said that replacing an intact 90 acre forest with a replanting plan spread out over seven years in various locations around the edges of the solar facility or elsewhere within the park is not equitable As concerning is the rapid pace of the permit approval process by Jackson Township the Board of Public Utilities and the Department of Environmental Protection The current plan of clear cutting acres of upland forest is environmentally unsound Negative impacts of potential runoff the forest destruction wetlands and ground water issues endangered species and downstream impacts especially for the Barnegat Bay would create a long term liability said Denise Garner a member of the Jackson Twp Environmental Commission who opposes the project Especially concerning to advocates are the potential impact on the watershed for Barnegat Bay which continues to see declining water quality especially during the summer Barnegat Bay is under stress from over development and nutrient pollution The unnecessary removal of 90 acres of forest adjacent to a stream that drains to the Bay will contribute to the already poor water quality Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson should reconsider their plan and move the solar panels to the parking lots which could have a double environmental benefit by reducing the thermal impact of the stormwater

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/earth-day-hike-inspects-forest-targeted-great-adventures-solar-project-clearcutting (2016-05-01)
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  • Over 100 Attend Discussion on New Jersey's Solar Future | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    Brunswick Piscataway Newark and Camden to set a goal of generating 20 percent of electricity in those communities from solar energy With over half the state living in places where the air is unsafe to breathe because of dirty energy use and the threat of global warming looming it s up to us to make sure New Jersey continues to be a leader in meeting our solar potential said Hilal Yildiz Solar Campaign Coordinator for NJPIRG Students Here in New Brunswick we re calling on Mayor Cahill to make us the first city in the state to commit to going 20 solar by 2025 New Jersey has over 33 000 solar installations 7 200 employed in the solar industry and the third most installed solar capacity in the nation Solar energy helps boost local economies reduce New Jersey s carbon footprint and save consumers on their electricity bills According to a report released last fall by Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center New Jersey has the technical potential to generate six times the electricity its residents consume in an average year from solar power alone An enthusiastic crowd of Rutgers students community members and solar business representatives attended the event Audience members drove an engaging hour long question and answer session with after the panelists shared their visions for solar energy s future Several audience members inquired into how the advances in storage will impact residential solar users Because of Sandy and weather conditions because of cyber terrorism and cyber security storage is the future where solar users will be able to go off grid and still stay on power said Jeanne Fox Ex President and Commissioner of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities one of the event s panelists This will make renewables it Fox was joined by Mark

    Original URL path: http://environmentnewjerseycenter.org/news/nje/over-100-attend-discussion-new-jerseys-solar-future (2016-05-01)
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