Legislation has been introduced (S3156 by Sen. Paul Sarlo and A4335 by Assemblyman Albert Couhtino) that would give us dirty water, higher utility costs, parking lots instead of forests and meadows.
It is moving quickly through the state Senate and Assembly TODAY – January 9th – the LAST day of the NJ Levislative Session, and will be voted on in a few hours!
Your favorite walk in the woods, eagle’s nesting ground, and fishing hole is threatened. This legislation will undermine environmental protection by allowing development in environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, endangered species habitat and next to reservoirs. Developers already have access to vast regions of the state where development makes sense, but they want it all and are using the current economic weakness to gain access to our last natural areas.
Specifically, this legislation undercuts a 2008 state environmental rule that protects more than 300,000 acres of the most environmentally sensitive areas left in the state. If passed, those areas will be opened to the kind of large-scale sprawl development that has already severely damaged Barnegat Bay.
These developers also want you to foot the bill of this massive land grab. This bill would allow new developments even in areas where sewage treatment facilities are not capable of handling an increase in sewage waste capacity! Impacts from overloaded sewage facilities – and overdevelopment in general – are borne by the taxpayer, not the developers (who leave town once a project is built!).
Downstream, these bills will cause more coastal and ocean pollution – counter-acting years and years of work to make our bays clean and our beaches pollution-free.
Millions of dollars have already been spent by towns, counties, the State, and the federal government to develop in a sustainable, smart way. From funds to repair stormdrains to wastewater treatment facility upgrades, efforts and taxpayer dollars will be wasted if this bill becomes law.
Please take two quick actions to voice your opposition: make a call today and share this information on Facebook and Twitter urging others to and to add their voices in opposition to this reckless legislation.
Find contact information for your legislators by municipality here - and try emailing them as well, since they'll likely be on the move all day!