New Jersey May Be First in Country to Ban Paper Bags

New Jersey is slated to join the ever-growing list of states implementing bans on plastic bags, but a bill passed by the New Jersey Legislature on September 24, 2020 takes the regulation one step further—banning paper bags as well.

The bill, originally introduced in January 2020, seeks to ban “single-use plastic carryout bags, single-use paper carryout bags, polystyrene foam food service products, and single-use plastic straws.” While plastics do appear to be the focus of the bill, it includes language that “single-use paper carryout bags …

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The Garden State Passes Landmark Environmental Justice Legislation to Protect Overburdened Communities

In the United States, New Jersey has quickly become a leader in tackling environmental justice issues. Earlier this year, the state, which boasts 130 miles of shoreline, became the first to require builders to take climate change and rising sea levels into account to obtain government project bids. The Garden State also pledged it would produce 100 percent clean energy by 2050. On September 18, 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy signed one of the most stringent environmental justice bills in the country into law. The overall …

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NJDEP Extends Comment Period for Proposed Revisions to Remediation Standards Due to Pandemic

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is required to develop remediation standards for contaminated sites to be protective of the public health, safety, and environment pursuant to the state’s Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act. In April, the NJDEP published proposed revisions to the remediation standards, codified at N.J.A.C. 7-26D. Since the proposed revisions were announced amid the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public comment period, originally scheduled to close on June 5, 2020, was extended to August 5, 2020 after the …

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Blowin’ in the Wind: New Jersey and New York see a Gust of Activity in Clean Energy Efforts

New Jersey and New York are leading the way with respect to the ongoing development of renewable energy sources,  in particular, as it relates to the procurement of offshore wind projects expected to produce renewable power for hundreds of thousands of homes in each state. There has been recent activity in both states’ efforts to make these projects a reality with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issuing Executive Order No. 92 on November 19, 2019, which more than doubles the New Jersey’s offshore wind goal to 7,500 megawatts by 2035, and, with the October 23, 2019 announcement that the New York …

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Power to the City: New Jersey Appellate Court Affirms Municipal Courts may Enforce Spill Act

The New Jersey Court of Appeals provided greater flexibility to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in enforcing the New Jersey Spill Act. A DEP employee filed a complaint against Alsol Corporation in municipal court in Milltown, New Jersey. In the complaint, the DEP made bare allegations that Alsol failed to remediate certain property in violation of the New Jersey Spill Act (N.J.A.C. 7:26C-2.3(a)). Although the regulation is detailed and complex, DEP’s complaint merely alleged the date of Alsol’s alleged violation.

Alsol responded by moving to …

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Colorless Haze? Carcinogenic Gas Found at Monitoring Sites in 16 Cities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released new data regarding the concentrations of ethylene oxide, a colorless and carcinogenic gas, found in metropolitan areas throughout the country. That data shows that the highest concentrations can be found in Phoenix, Arizona, followed closely by Chicago, Illinois, Calvert City, Kentucky, and Chester, New Jersey.

Ethylene oxide is an industrial compound most commonly used to produce other chemicals or as a sterilizing agent for medical instruments. The EPA released the data as part of an ongoing effort …

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New Jersey’s First Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal Seeks Approval Amidst Claims of Environmental Threats

Earlier this year, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) approved a permit for construction of the state’s first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal at the site of a former chemical plant along the Delaware River in southern New Jersey. Environmental groups have now challenged the issuance of that permit, bringing additional public scrutiny and attention to this large-scale and controversial energy initiative.

The liquefaction process of natural gas consists of lowering its temperature to approximately negative 260 degrees Fahrenheit. It is then …

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PFAS Contaminants Discovered at NJ Trump Golf Course

Recent utility tests of drinking water on President Trump’s golf property in Bedminster, New Jersey, revealed, for the third time this year, the presence of perflurooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is one of the more common PFAS compounds. A lab retained by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection measured 3.5 – 3.6 parts per trillion (ppt) of the chemical at the property. Depending on who you talk to, the levels detected could be considered low and not harmful or, alternatively, they could be considered too high …

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New Jersey Governor Announces Ambitious 10-Year Plan to Remove Lead from Service Lines and Paint in Homes Throughout the State

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced a comprehensive statewide plan to address lead exposure throughout the state. “My comprehensive statewide plan brings together experts from our cabinet departments, stakeholders, and advocates to create strong partnerships and implement policies to protect New Jersey’s children and families from lead” the governor commented. “Together, guided by the actions outlined in our strategy, we will overcome this public health challenge that has been building for decades to ensure that our residents are safe from lead exposure for generations to …

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Third Circuit Court of Appeals Delivers Knockout Punch to PennEast Natural Gas Pipeline, Eminent Domain Squashed

Previously, we reported that that the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey granted a consortium of natural gas companies the right of eminent domain to take steps toward building the PennEast pipeline to connect natural gas sources in Pennsylvania to parts of New Jersey. We then reported that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay to temporarily stop any physical construction from beginning on the pipeline in New Jersey until the appeal was decided. 

​Now, in the next …

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