statehousenewsTREnjTrenton, NJ: State House News – See News Video from the State House Steps –

Environmental leaders are coming together to fight to protect clean water. At this press conference we will publicize the Administration’s further attack on New Jersey’s supply of clean water with the proposed increase in development on septic systems allowed in the Highlands Preservation Area as well as their Flood Hazard Rules. We will discuss the need for Legislative action to protect our state’s drinking water and waterways.

“We’re coming together to launch a campaign to protect New Jersey’s drinking water and waterways from attacks by the Christie Administration. The Legislature needs to step in to protect the people of New Jersey from additional water pollution and flooding with the Flood Hazard Rules that have just been adopted. These changes would allow for more development in some of the most environmentally sensitive parts of The Highlands. We are also expressing the need to stand together against the weakening of clean water protections in our state such as rollbacks in Water Quality Planning Rules, development in environmentally sensitive areas, and rollbacks of the Highlands septic density rules,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We’re coming together to fight to protect New Jersey’s water from the Christie Administration’s rollbacks.”

Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, as well as other groups such as New Jersey Highlands Coalition, Raritan Headwaters, ANJEC, Environment New Jersey, Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network and more on Tuesday, May 31, at 1:00 pm, Statehouse Steps, 125 W State St., Trenton, NJ 08608

Flood Hazard Rules Adopted: Still Threaten Our Waterways

The DEP is continuing to play games with the Flood Hazard Rules. After being threatened by a Legislative Veto, they have made some modest changes that are a slight improvement but he rules are still a hazard. They still allow for development within the 150-foot Special Water Resources Protection Areas. They still have an illegal mitigation scheme, general permits to allow pipelines through C1 streams, and other significant rollbacks on protections. These rules are still a weakening one of the most important rules in the state that protects us from flooding and protects our clean water. We need the Legislature to stand up to the Christie Administration once again with a Legislative Veto to stop these rules from going forward by passing ACR160/SCR66.

Highlands Rules Rollbacks to Allow More Septic Development

The DEP’s new proposed septic density rule could increase development in the most environmentally sensitive part of the Highlands called the Forest Preservation Area by 400 percent. These environmentally sensitive forested lands and wetlands are some of the most pristine lands found anywhere in the country. By increasing development, these rules will threaten our water supply for 5.5 million people, as well as threatening open space and increase flooding. These changes will severely harm our critical headwater areas, forested mountains, and endangered species, while causing more sprawl and pollution. This is part of the Christie Administration’s weakening of the laws to protect the Highlands based on arbitrary science that has been refuted by our own water quality experts.