©Chris Laurens, ElsamAn aerial view of the Kentish Flats windfarm viewed show the wind turbine generators. Story by Amanda Oglesby Asbury Park Press, September 1, 2023 - A Denmark company building New Jersey's first offshore wind turbine project announced this week billions of dollars in losses in its American division due to supply shortages and high interest rates. Wind turbine company Ørsted plans start onshore construction for Ocean Wind 1 — an 11,000-megawatt wind turbine project to be located about 15 miles offshore — this fall. However, supply chain instability and high interest rates are being blamed for pushing the project completion date back to 2026, according to NJ Spotlight News. Twelve environmental and advocacy organizations — including the New Jersey Sierra Club, Environment New Jersey, NJ Work Environment Council and Jersey Renews — urged continued support for the state's burgeoning offshore wind market despite Ørsted's announcement. Read the entire Press Release here.
Booker, Barragán Lead 47 Congressional Colleagues in Urging EPA to Further Strengthen Prevention and Safety Standards to Prevent Chemical Disasters
Booker, Barragán Lead 47 Congressional Colleagues in Urging EPA to Further Strengthen Prevention and Safety Standards to Prevent Chemical Disasters WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA-44th) urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen its proposed Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule to ensure the strongest possible safeguards at high-risk chemical facilities and protections for workers, environmental justice communities, and first responders. 47 other Senators and members of the House of Representatives co-signed the letter. EPA’s RMP regulates close to 12,000 facilities that make, use, or store hazardous chemicals, and recent chemical disasters have highlighted shortcomings in the existing RMP regulations that fail to sufficiently protect workers and communities living near hazardous chemical facilities. Today’s letter is a follow-up to Senator Booker and Representative Barragán’s April 2022 letter, which urged the EPA to propose an updated RMP rule with robust prevention and safety standards to prevent chemical disasters. EPA released the proposed rule in August 2022, which makes significant and needed updates, but the proposed rule can be further strengthened to ensure stronger safeguards. The letter is supported by BlueGreen Alliance, United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers, New Jersey Work Environment Council, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned [...]
The wealthiest 2 percent of businesses should be paying more when New Jerseyans are struggling – not getting a tax cut, advocates say. On Friday, members of the For The Many New Jersey coalition sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy and other officials, urging them to renew the state's corporate business tax surcharge. NEW JERSEY — Preschool for 37,000 kids. Nearly 5,000 affordable housing units. An estimated 1,500 electric school buses. Doubling the state’s college tuition assistance. These are some of the things that New Jersey could pay for if it extends a “corporate millionaire’s tax” for some of its largest businesses, advocates say. On Friday, members of the For The Many New Jersey coalition sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and members of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees. Their demand? Keep the juice running on the state’s corporate business tax surcharge. ... The letter, which can be seen here, was signed by 28 organizations and labor unions, including: ACLU of New Jersey, 32BJ SEIU, BlueWaveNJ, Clean Water Action, CWA District 1, Environment New Jersey, Healthy Schools Now NJ, Housing and Community Development Network of NJ, Jersey Renews Coalition, Latino Action [...]
I know neither Ms. Jennifer Shiao nor Mr. Peter Demling, but I am familiar with science and how to locate information. There are a number of problems with artificial turf that seem to me to outweigh the finicalities of the myriad rules and regulations one encounters in this community. Ms Shiao’s transgression, if it is such, is in the service of a higher calling, the health and well being of our students. Most of what follows was gleaned from studies by Penn State University and the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) Fact Sheet. Artificial fields are less forgiving and the frequency of injuries of those who play on them is higher than those who play on the old fashioned stuff. Continue reading the entire article.
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
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
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 [...]
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 [...]
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
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.