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The New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) is an alliance of labor, community, and environmental organizations working together for safe, secure jobs, and a healthy, sustainable environment.

NJ Advocates Celebrate IIJA Anniversary, Call on Murphy Administration to Create Strategic Federal Climate Plan for Healthier State

November 17, 2022 State Commitment Urgent to Make Historic Federal Investments Count for New Jerseyans On the first anniversary of the federal Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) being signed into law, New Jersey is still without a strategic plan to maximize historic federal climate investments despite a patchwork of projects across the state. A broad coalition of groups representing New Jersey’s environmental, business, planning, social justice, conservation, labor, and climate advocacy communities are urging the Murphy administration to do more – faster – to address the state’s unmet sustainability needs. “A patchwork of projects, no matter how important each is, doesn’t equate to a clear roadmap for how New Jersey will transform itself into a national sustainability leader,” said Renae Reynolds, Executive Director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “It’s time for our government to wake up and invest funding where its publicly stated goals aspire to see multigenerational improvements.” “This funding represents a generational opportunity,” said Nikki Baker, Healthy Schools Now Organizer, NJ Work Environment Council. “Public engagement must underpin New Jersey’s investment strategy so residents in overburdened areas can empower change for their children and their neighborhoods for years to come.” Read the entire Press Release

By |2022-12-02T10:35:42-05:00November 17th, 2022|Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on NJ Advocates Celebrate IIJA Anniversary, Call on Murphy Administration to Create Strategic Federal Climate Plan for Healthier State

Federal chemical board important to N.J. still plagued by staff vacancies, watchdog says

Updated: Nov. 15, 2022, 9:15 p.m. | Published: Nov. 14, 2022, 6:26 p.m. The agency that investigates chemical accidents and makes safety recommendations remains short-staffed, threatening it “from efficiently and effectively driving chemical safety change through independent investigations to protect people and the environment,” a federal watchdog reported recently. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has just two of its five members in place, and lacks enough staff to properly investigate incidents and issue reports, according to the inspector general for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the chemical agency. “This isn’t something that’s new for the agency,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council. “This isn’t going to change overnight but I remain optimistic under new leadership that the agency can go in the right direction. But it’s going to take time.” Read the entire article here

By |2022-12-02T10:36:13-05:00November 15th, 2022|WEC in the News|Comments Off on Federal chemical board important to N.J. still plagued by staff vacancies, watchdog says

Statement on NJ BPU Selection of Offshore Transmission Projects

October 31, 2022 We, the undersigned organizations, on behalf of our members and supporters across New Jersey, applaud the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for taking historic action on transmission today to protect customers and advance the critical development of offshore wind to meet our climate targets. This unprecedented collaboration with the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection (PJM), resulted in a cost-saving and environmentally responsible approach that will minimize impacts while providing the necessary infrastructure to deliver thousands of megawatts of planned and future renewable offshore wind energy to our existing grid, powering millions of homes throughout the state, and bring thousands of good jobs to our state. This decision establishes New Jersey as a national leader, coordinating with its grid operator to proactively plan and build the grid of the future, delivering on the promise of offshore wind. Although we will continue to advocate for an offshore backbone, we are heartened that the agency has acknowledged the need to explore those options and push for more coordination. We urge other states and regions, including New York and New England, and their grid operators, to quickly follow suit, particularly with the opportunities available from the Inflation Reduction Act. “With today’s decision, we [...]

By |2022-12-02T10:36:32-05:00October 31st, 2022|Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Statement on NJ BPU Selection of Offshore Transmission Projects

Is Murphy raiding Clean Energy Fund? More than 50 N.J. groups say he is — and has diverted $500M

October 18, 2022 Gov. Phil Murphy repeatedly has talked about his desire to move the state to a clean energy environment, setting challenging goals while doing so. But, for all the governor has done, more than 50 environmental, labor and health advocates across New Jersey said his actions don’t match his words. They said the governor (and the Legislature) has diverted more than $500 million that is intended for the state’s Clean Energy Fund — a fund that was established to help the state transition to clean, renewable energy sources. “Protecting the Clean Energy Fund in the upcoming state budget is critical to expand a wide range of programs to reduce air pollution, develop clean and renewable sources of energy, lower rates and create good, family sustaining jobs,” they wrote in a letter that was sent to the governor this week. ...The group, in the letter, said the money taken from the fund this year went toward New Jersey Transit’s operating budget. Opponents said there was only vague language about using some of it to electrify the state’s bus fleet. The letter suggests other ways to support NJ Transit, such as federal funding and creating a dedicated, reliable funding source specifically [...]

By |2022-12-02T10:36:51-05:00October 18th, 2022|WEC in the News|Comments Off on Is Murphy raiding Clean Energy Fund? More than 50 N.J. groups say he is — and has diverted $500M

Group Created to Study How to Shift to ‘Clean Buildings’ in NJ

TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy announced the creation of a new working group that will study ways to reduce carbon emissions from buildings in New Jersey. Murphy announced the Clean Buildings Working Group at the state’s clean energy conference being held in Atlantic City. The group will be a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy and the state Board of Public Utilities. Read More: Group created to study how to shift to 'clean buildings' in NJ

By |2022-10-13T14:34:17-04:00October 3rd, 2022|WEC in the News|Comments Off on Group Created to Study How to Shift to ‘Clean Buildings’ in NJ

Governor Murphy Announces Launch of Statewide Clean Buildings Working Group

ATLANTIC CITY – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the launch of the Clean Buildings Working Group at the Clean Energy Conference. The Working Group, a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy (OCAGE) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), will serve as a cross-sector collaborative of stakeholders and experts in industry, government, building science, organized labor, environmental justice, and workforce development that will inform pathways to greener, cleaner buildings in New Jersey. Governor Murphy’s bold climate action agenda requires innovative solutions to decarbonize our building sector in order to fulfill the State’s commitment to achieve a 100% clean energy state economy and reduce emissions by 80% from 2006 levels by 2050. Read the entire article here.

By |2022-10-13T14:26:22-04:00October 3rd, 2022|WEC in the News|Comments Off on Governor Murphy Announces Launch of Statewide Clean Buildings Working Group

Murphy orders big jump in offshore wind

TOM JOHNSON, ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT WRITER | SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 | ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT Governor boosts goal for green power, key to carbon-free target New Jersey plans to ramp up its reliance on offshore wind, now with a new executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy to increase the state’s goal for building wind farms off the coast. Murphy, speaking Wednesday at an event in New York City for Climate Week, increased the state’s target of 7,500 megawatts from wind turbines by 2035 to 11,000 MW by 2040. The move underscores the importance of offshore wind in achieving the administration’s transition to a 100% clean-energy economy by mid-century. “This is an aggressive target, but achievable,’’ Murphy said. At the same time, he announced the release of a Council on the Green Economy study that projected the state can expect an additional 314,886 net jobs over the next 10 years based on current green policies and investment. ... “The transition to a green economy will create thousands of good paying, family sustaining jobs for New Jersey workers and offers an unprecedented opportunity to expand our workforce that will ensure fossil fuel workers will not be left behind,’’ said Debra Coyle, executive director of the NJ [...]

By |2022-09-22T12:58:25-04:00September 22nd, 2022|WEC in the News|Comments Off on Murphy orders big jump in offshore wind

Jersey Renews Response on the Release of the Council on the Green Economy Green Jobs Report

For Immediate Release September 21, 2022 Jersey Renews Response on the Release of the Council on the Green Economy Green Jobs Report TRENTON – This morning at an event for Climate Week NYC Governor Murphy announced the release of the Council on the Green Economy Report, Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future, and 12-month action plan. At the same time the Governor also signed an Executive Order today to increase the target goal from 7.5MW for offshore wind to 11MW by 2040. In February 2021, Governor Phil Murphy created the Council on the Green Economy and tasked it to deliver a report with recommendations on how New Jersey should transition to a green economy. According to the report, New Jersey can expect to see an additional 314,888 net job-years supported over the next 10 years based on current green policies and investments enacted across New Jersey to date. The report lays out steps New Jersey must take to create an inclusive, vibrant green economy that will create business opportunities, uplift communities, and create good paying jobs. ... “Jersey Renews applauds the release of today’s report and thanks the Administration, as well as the many public members of the Council on the [...]

By |2022-09-22T12:52:55-04:00September 21st, 2022|Press Releases, WEC in the News|Comments Off on Jersey Renews Response on the Release of the Council on the Green Economy Green Jobs Report

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Increasing Offshore Wind Goal to 11,000 MW by 2040

NEW YORK – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 307, increasing New Jersey’s offshore wind goal by nearly 50 percent to 11,000 megawatts (MW) by 2040. The Executive Order, which increases the state’s current goal of 7,500 MW, also directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to study the feasibility of increasing the target further. Accompanying the Executive Order, Governor Murphy also announced the release of the Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future report, created by the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy. The report outlines recommendations and pathways for growing a demographically representative and inclusive green workforce as New Jersey pursues its clean energy future. Established during Governor Murphy’s first term, the Council is comprised of experts, advocates, and leaders from across industry and organized labor. Governor Murphy directed the Council to prepare the report in order to promote diversity and opportunity in the green economy for environmental justice communities while making pathways to green jobs more accessible for workers, especially union members. ... “The roadmap offers policy solutions that will help create a green economy that will produce good green jobs that are accessible to [...]

By |2022-09-22T12:46:26-04:00September 21st, 2022|WEC in the News|Comments Off on Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Increasing Offshore Wind Goal to 11,000 MW by 2040

NJ Work Environment Council Statement on EPA’s proposed RMP Rule

For Immediate Release: August 19, 2022 Contact: Debra Coyle, 609.707.1320; dcoyle@njwec.org Rejecting former President Trump’s fealty to the chemical and oil industries, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed revisions to its Risk Management Program (RMP) rule to further protect vulnerable communities and workers from releases of highly hazardous chemicals, including those living near facilities with high incident rates, such as chemical plants. The proposed regulation, the “Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention Rule,” would strengthen the existing program rules and include new safeguards for approximately 90 industrial facilities in New Jersey. The Agency’s RMP rule protects public health and the environment by requiring industrial facilities with high incident rates to prevent accidental air releases of dangerous chemicals that could cause deaths, injuries, property damage, environmental damage, or require evacuations in surrounding communities. Debra Coyle, Executive Director, NJ Work Environment Council Statement on EPA’s proposed RMP Rule WEC commends the U.S. EPA for issuing this proposed rule. It’s a step in the right direction to prevent chemical accidents in New Jersey and the nation. In particular, WEC is pleased to see new provisions such as requiring facility management to assess and prepare for severe weather and climate change. Approximately one-third of facilities [...]

By |2022-08-19T17:39:12-04:00August 19th, 2022|Press Releases|Comments Off on NJ Work Environment Council Statement on EPA’s proposed RMP Rule
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