Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Big enviro bills nip past NJ legislative deadline

Three major pieces of environmental legislation managed to pass both houses of the New Jersey Legislature on Monday--the final day of the two-year session.

In addition to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative -- A-4559 -- covered in the next two posts -- the Legislature sent to Governor Jon Corzine for his consideration, bills that:

Impose a $3-per-ton tax on solid waste to fund municipal recycling tonnage grants and county recycling and solid waste planning
(A-1886), and

Require electronic product manufacturers to institute recycling programs for used television sets and computers (A-3572).

Other environmental bills passed on the final session day would:

Allow counties, municipalities and school districts to join with the State under certain circumstances for provision of alternative electrical energy systems (A-357);

Add four members to South Jersey Port Corporation (A-2861);

Require purchasing agents to complete a course in green product purchasing (A-4086);

Require the state Board of Public Utilities to establish a voluntary program for the certification of renewable energy installers (S-344);

Require certain State buildings to be designed and managed to meet high performance green building standards (S-843);

Require commercial pesticide applicators and operators to contact agricultural agencies prior to exterminating honey bee colonies
(S-1848);

Require DEP to conduct public hearing and provide opportunity for public comment at conclusion of feasibility study for shore protection projects (S-2240);

Establish the New Jersey Coastal and Ocean Protection Council
(S-2645);

Revise procedures for condemnation of certain property and use of the power of eminent domain by railroads (S-2743), and

Revise the law concerning electric power net metering, safety and power quality interconnection standards (S-2936)

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