Monday, November 2, 2015

Star-Ledger says Christie's rolling back clean water rules

From a November 1, 2015 editorial in Sunday's Star-Ledger:
The Christie administration has fired off yet another round in its attack on clean water, but this time, the Democratic-controlled Legislature is firing back – along with environmentalists who rallied on the State House steps last week.

The core issue is that Christie is threatening our streams and rivers with two new sets of proposed rules, which would allow development closer to the water's edge and encourage new sewer lines into sensitive areas.

The state Senate knocked back his first attempt to weaken the protection of our rivers and streams, by passing a resolution that would block the proposal to allow development closer to the water. It still needs to get through the Assembly to overturn his changes.
But in the meantime, the administration is pushing forward with its second set of rule changes, which would allow sewers and septic tanks to be placed closer together and extended even into the protected Highlands area — which supplies drinking water to more than half the state.

Defenders of the Highlands say the worst is likely still to come. A third set of rule changes that haven't been formally proposed yet would quadruple the amount of development allowed in its core forested areas.
EP Editor's Note: The governor's Republican allies and many in the state's business community see the proposed DEP rule changes not as an attack on the environment but a re-balancing of overly restrictive rules enacted under previous administrations that hurt the state's economy. If you have an opinion on this that you'd like to share, click the 'comment' link below or consider submitting a guest column for our consideration.

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