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By Steve Birdlebough, Redwood Chapter Transportation ChairLong-awaited commuter train service for Sonoma and Marin counties is expected to begin by the end of 2016. For two years, travelers along Highway 101 have seen evidence of work on the tracks, and now the self-powered railcars are beginning to arrive. While months of testing and training remain before revenue service begins, transit advocates see an opportunity to improve the image of public transportation.
The proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument took another big step forward today, when the State Senate approved Assembly Joint Resolution 4, urging President Obama to use his powers under the Antiquities Act to designate 360,000 acres of federal public lands in the region. This follows similar action on the from the Assembly last month, and puts the State of California on record in support of this action.
Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club , issued the following statement on the remediation of the Fenimore Municipal Landfill in Roxbury, NJ: "Sierra Club's support of the former Fenimore Municipal Landfill in Roxbury, NJ has been mischaracterized by the company remediating the site, Strategic Environmental Partners. We support solar on landfills, but not dumping of more pollution. The current plan is to cap the abandoned landfill and install enough solar panels to power...
Governor Christie has taken the side of the fossil fuel industry and polluters over New Jersey's drinking water. The Governor vetoed important legislation that would have banned the disposal of fracking waste in our state. This bill would have protected our drinking water and environment from industry waste that can contain over 700 chemicals and radioactive materials. This bill is imperative for protecting our water supply since companies here have already been accepting wastewater,...
To view the US Forest Service Scoping notice, click here.To view the proposed Commercial Treatment, click here.To view the proposed Non-Commercial Treatments, click here.To view the proposed Road
Today the Economic Development Authority gave a hardship grant to the Mahwah-based County Oil Corp. for the removal of seven underground oil tanks despite the company's sole owner engaging in illegal activities that would usually disqualify a company form receiving a grant. The company's President Joseph Minuto ran an illegal bookmaking operation in Florida in 1996. He has served time in prison and on probation. The EDA gave the grant to someone that should not qualify based on their...
Today the National Resources Defense Council released their annual assessment on New Jersey's beaches: "Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches."The report that during 2011 there was a 20% increase in beach closures in New Jersey. Last year we had 132 beach closings, the fourth highest in the nation. Governor Christie's policies are only making the problem worse. His administration is taking the side of special interest and developers over protecting our beaches...
Hearing Tomorrow, Gov. Christie Trying to Hide our Dirty Air
Statement By Jeff Tittel Today the Environmental Protection Agency announced they will be awarding New Jersey $78 million for water projects. This money will be used towards upgrading wasterwater treatment and drinking water systems and working to control runoff pollution. This shows EPA is more concerned about our water quality than the Christie Administration. Governor Christie would rather weaken our Water Quality Management Plan to appease developers and special interest than protect the...
Today Governor Christie signed a bill to help clean up toxic sites across the state. S1460 (Sweeney) would require that money received from property tax appeals on vacant or underused industrial sites be used for site remediation. The bill also allows municipalities to charge the property owner an annual fee until the toxic site is cleaned up. This bill will help hold polluters accountable for the cost of cleanups while helping get these sites remediated more quickly. ...
Hearing on Plan in Jersey City Today Jersey City will host the last hearing on the Governor's State Strategic Plan. The Plan must be adopted within 30 days of this final hearing. There have been changes made to the State Strategic Plan, but they have not been announced to the public. The Sierra Club continues to oppose the Plan and believes it violates the State Planning Act and is the opposite of smart growth. The Office of Planning Advocacy and the State Planning Commission need to...
The third victory for cleaning up the Passaic River was secured yesterday. A Superior Court judge ruled Maxus Energy Corporation is responsible for past and future cleanup costs to remove contaminated sediments from the lower Passaic River. Cleanup efforts have been underway since March and this decision will provide more funding to ensure the Passaic is cleaned to the highest standards to protect the environment and community of Newark. The EPA and DEP are overseeing the removal of...
Over twenty organizations and the Clinton Township Council have submitted comments to the DEP urging them to deny Freshwater Wetland and Flood Hazard Area permit applications for the Stanton Loop of the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company's (Transco) Northeast Supply Link project. The project would install new pipeline through six miles of Hunterdon County, crossing environmentally sensitive areas. The project will impact wetlands, threatened and endangered species habitat, water...
Today the State House Commission approved the use of public lands for PSEG's Susquehanna Roseland transmission line expansion project. The expanded lines would allow PSEG to import more coal-fired energy from Pennsylvania. This project will destroy the scenic vistas and important natural resources of our public lands, which belong to all of us. The project will cause significant environmental damage and violates public trust. It takes away the wilderness experience because it cuts through...
To view the US Forest Service Scoping notice, click here.To view the proposed Commercial Treatment, click here.To view the proposed Non-Commercial Treatments, click here.To view the proposed Road
Today the Assembly Environment Committee will consider*S3028 (Greenwald),* establishing a Zero Emissions Vehicle Commission. The Clean Car program is currently working in New Jersey, helping people save money and reduce air pollution. This law is serving the public well at a time of high gas prices. The Commission will help come up with ways to develop zero emission vehicles and implement those programs in New Jersey. Creating the infrastructure and technology for zero emissions vehicles...
Permit Extension Act Now on Governor's Desk Date : Fri, 29 Jun 2012 12:47
The National Park Service (NPS) has put corporate interests before protecting our parks. In their Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line, the agency selected the preferred route of PPL and PSEG through our national park units. The NPS was required to prepare the environmental document under the National Environmental Policy Act and is now expected to release a final Record of Decision and permits for the project within 30 days. This...
Tonight Franklin Township (Hunterdon) and the Green Acres Program will hold a public hearing on diverting two parcels preserved with taxpayer funding for the Transco Northeast Supply Link Project. This pipeline expansion project will have significant impacts on environment and clean energy future of not only the township and Hunterdon County, but the entire state. The Sierra Club objects to the use of public lands for polluting energy projects as a way to cut project costs. These energy...
Today the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS) released a report on the deteriorating health of Barnegat Bay. The report shows that pollution is worse in the Bay than previously thought as a result of nitrate and phospohorus pollution and eutrophication. Governor Christie’s policies have only made the problems at Barnegat Bay worse by delaying a standards to address nutrient pollution and to clean up stormwater. The Christie Administration is letting the health of...
EPA Adds Orange Toxic Site to Superfund List Date : Fri, 21 Sep 2012 10:
As we celebrate Memorial Day, the Sea Grant Consortium releases its report on the best beach, and the Governor visits Atlantic City touting our beautiful beaches, there are some real threats facing our coast and our coastal economy. The Governor is taking the side of special interest and developers over the people of New Jersey and attempting to roll back forty years of environmental protections. The state of the Jersey Shore is as scary as the Christie administration's policies that are...
Today the PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee (TEAC) announced that a major powerline expansion project similar to the Susquehanna-Roseland line should be cancelled. Due to falling demand, new generation plants, and the efficiency of demand response programs, the Mid Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) project in Maryland and Delaware was scrapped. This project along with Susquehanna-Roseland, was proposed as part of Project Mountaineer, a FERC devised plan to increase connections...
A recent study out of Stony Brook University found that the biggest threat to drinking water supplies from the fracking process came from the disposal of waste water. The DuPont Deepwater facility has accepted fracking wastewater for treatment from PA-based PSC Industrial Services. The waste treated at the plant had been mixed with other partially treated liquid hazardous wastes before coming on-site. There have been other reports of fracking waste entering New Jersey in Elizabeth and...
To view the US Forest Service Scoping notice, click here.To view the proposed Commercial Treatment, click here.To view the proposed Non-Commercial Treatments, click here.To view the proposed Road
The Assembly Environment Committee passed two bills encouraging the use of blue and green roofs. Blue roofs have a mechanism that will drain stormwater such as gravel beds or rooftop detention systems. A green roof is covered with vegetation designed to improve stormwater management. These roofs not only help to improve our stormwater management and conserve water, but also provide cost savings through efficient energy usage for heating and cooling of the buildings. These roofs also help...
Anniversary of Pinelands Law Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the passage of the Pinelands Protection Act. The Pinelands is a truly unique and ecologically important region and protecting it is critical not only for our water supply but for biodiversity as well. The significance of the Pinelands is recognized at the state, national, and even international level. The Pinelands was named the first National Reserve in the country and is designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The...
Today the Division of Law announced that New Jersey has gotten polluters to pay $29 million towards environmental cleanups. The administration has not collected money in previous years for clean ups so this figure is actually a combination of multiple years. They are putting it all together to make it look like they have done more when in reality enforcement has gone down and the program is being weakened. "This is an administration whose policies take the side of polluters over proper...
"We stand here today with over 60 organizations from across New Jersey who want a stop to the flow of fracking waste that is coming to our state. This unprecedented support for a ban on fracking waste is stems from the serious risks this waste poses to our drinking water, public health and the environment," *said Jim Walsh, New Jersey Director, Food & Water Watch*. The fracking process creates millions of gallons of wastewater and solids for every new well drilled and each well can...
Yesterday the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) took the side of water pollution over clean water by approving permits for Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company's (TGP) Northeast Upgrade Project. The project would install a new pipeline underneath the Delaware River and across sensitive portions of the watershed, including High Point State Park. The DRBC approved water withdrawals for pipeline testing and discharges of the used water at their meeting. Instead of looking out for the best...
The Sierra Club applauds the US Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to add the Matlack Inc site in Woolwich to the Superfund program. This site should be added as it is in an environmentally sensitive area and cleaning it up is critical to protecting groundwater and critical habitat. "This site is in an environmentally sensitive area and including it in the Superfund program is the only way to adequately protect it and ensure the site will be cleaned up. This site is close to a...
Last night the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) took the side of dirty fossil fuel energy over the drinking water for the people of New Jersey. The agency approved the expansion of the polluting Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company's (TGP) natural gas pipeline across some of the most sensitive watershed lands in the state. This pipeline will be drilled underneath the Monksville Reservoir, part of the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, providing drinking water to over 2...