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

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

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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