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New Jersey Sierra Club Legislative Round-Up for Monday, October 15, 2018

Monday Legislative Round-Up: EVs, Fracking, Etc.

The following bills were released from committee today, Monday, October 15th:

Senate Environment and Energy Committee:             

Fracking Ban S678 (Bateman) prohibits treatment, discharge, disposal, application to roadway, or storage of wastewater, wastewater solids, sludge, drill cuttings or other byproducts from natural gas exploration or production using hydraulic fracturing. Fracking involves injecting huge amounts of water and chemicals in rock formations that can pollute surrounding aquifers and waterways. This requires mixing millions of gallons of water with toxic chemicals including volatile organic chemicals like benzene, methyl benzene, formaldehyde, and others that are linked to cancer.

“Fracking is a dangerous process that threatens drinking water and public health. Our main priority should be getting all fracking activities banned in the Basin through the DRBC and making sure Murphy keeps his commitment to do so. Then we need to an it in New Jersey. In our state, we’re more threatened with connecting fracking activities such as the dumping or treating of waste or using of water sources. Dumping fracking wastewater is dangerous because it contains over 600 different toxic chemicals, many of them carcinogenic. This could lead to pollution and contaminated drinking water.  This legislation would ban all activities related to fracking in our state. It would prevent fracking waste from being dumped on our land or in our water, and help stop facilities to treat that waste from being built here,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

Plug-Ins S2252 (Smith) establishes Statewide public plug-in electric vehicle charging system. The goal would be to develop a Statewide plan for installing at least 600 public DC fast chargers and Level 2 public community chargers at 300 locations or more in the State by December 31, 2020. EV’s are much cheaper to operate than gas vehicles and reduce air pollution from traffic and emissions from refineries and drilling oil. Implementing a successful electric vehicle charging system in New Jersey will mean less money sent out of state for petroleum, more in-state jobs, less carbon pollution, and cleaner, healthier air. With ZEVs we can create thousands of jobs, provide infrastructure around the states for EVs, and allow us to become leaders in EV technology.

“This is a broad ranging bill that would help advance electric vehicles in New Jersey that would get us moving after eight years of delay under Christie. The bill would require installing hundreds of fast chargers as well as public community chargers in over 300 locations across the state in the next two years. New Jersey needs to pass legislation and fund programs that advance electric vehicles in our state and creating a network of charging stations is the first big step. We need to create a charging network that allows people to drive through New Jersey without range anxiety. We need to make sure that charging networks and incentives are targeted to communities that have received a disproportionate share of pollution, especially minority and low-income communities.

“Electric vehicles are the technology of the future and show we can move this country forward with an automobile that has zero emissions. Half of New Jersey’s air pollution comes from transportation. Thanks to rebates and tax credits, decreasing prices in EV technology, and the much cheaper price of electricity vs. gasoline, the cost of owning and operating an electric vehicle is now notably lower than that of many conventional vehicles. There are currently more than 20 fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles available at US dealerships. Our state used to be a leader in innovation and transportation and can be again in clean transportation,” said Jeff Tittel.

Green Amendment SCR134 (Greenstein) proposes constitutional amendment to make State trustee of public natural resources and guarantee to the people other environmental rights. The constitutional amendment would protect right to clean air and water.

“Citizens throughout the world have the right to clean air and water, and a healthy planet. Here in New Jersey, we can do something about it. We can adopt a constitutional amendment guaranteeing those rights to every man, woman, and child in our state. For far too long polluters and developers have been getting away with destroying our environment and impacting public health. We all deserve the freedom to be healthy in a healthy environment. After all, you can’t have free speech if you can’t breathe the air,” said Jeff Tittel.

Rancocas Creek SR99 (Singleton) urges the US Secretary of Interior to designate Rancocas Creek as National Water Trail.

“The Rancocas Creek is an important natural resource and we support this resolution to designate it a National Water Trail. This designation would help protect the ecology of this important waterway while promoting its use for recreation opportunities such as canoeing. We support highlighting and protecting the importance of New Jersey’s natural resources, especially waterways and the Rancocas Creek is a great example of that,” said Jeff Tittel.


Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee

Regulatory Flexibility Act A3578 (Wirths) expands scope of New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act dealing with economic impact of rules on small businesses.

We oppose this bill because it allows businesses to get around following certain rules and regulations. This bill was introduced under the Christie Administration alongside other ALEC-supported legislation. It is not meant to help the people of New Jersey. The Murphy Administration should not be pushing this dangerous legislation,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.