Sunday, February 25, 2018

Enviro and energy bills up for votes Monday in NJ Senate

By Frank Brill
EnviroPolitics Editor

The following energy and environment bills are scheduled for votes in the New Jersey Senate on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018:

S877 (Sweeney / Smith / Van Drew) - Establishes Nuclear Diversity Certificate program. This is the controversial bill that would provide a ratepayer-funded bailout to PSEG Nuclear's three electricity generating facilities in South Jersey whose profits are endangered by cheaper natural gas prices. It also contains provisions affecting solar energy. More at NJ Spotlight 

S879 (Sweeney) - Amends definition of "existing major hazardous waste facility" in "Major Hazardous Waste Facilities Siting Act." Supported by South Jersey business and economic-development interests
, the bill would allow the Chemours (former DuPont) hazardous waste treatment plant in Carneys Point, to resume accepting waste from non-Chemours operations. The plant has been treating waste for decades but stopped accepting material from non-DuPont businesses in 2011. Now it wants to reverse that decision without being required to apply for permits from the NJDEP as a new facility. Carneys Point stands to realize hundreds of thousands of dollar in gross receipts taxes if the legislation is enacted.

S1057 (Van Drew / Gopal) - Requires EDA, in consultation with Department of Agriculture, to establish loan program for certain vineyard and winery capital expenses.

S1083 (Cruz-Perez / Gopal) - Establishes loan program and provides corporation business tax and gross income tax credits for establishment of new vineyards and wineries.

S1208 (Beach / Oroho) - Prohibits investment of pension and annuity funds by the state in entities that avoid Superfund obligations to New Jersey. NJ Spotlight's John Reitmeyer reported that the measure "
is advancing in direct response to recent efforts by a state-owned Argentinian company and its subsidiaries that seem to be directed at keeping the company from having to pay more than $1 billion to clean up the former Diamond Alkali Superfund site in Newark and related pollution along an eight mile stretch of the Passaic River. " 
SR29 (Sarlo / Bateman / Van Drew) - Opposes expansion of oil and natural gas drilling on Outer Continental Shelf. The bill is one of many introduced in the legislature after President Trump opened up the entire Atlantic coast (except Florida--the home of Mar a Lago) to gas and oil drilling.
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