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Clean Water on the Move - April 2022

Happy Spring and Earth Month! Welcome to Clean Water on the Move, your monthly update from Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund. Take a look at what our amazing staff has been up to and what is coming in the month ahead. Thanks for your ongoing support for our work towards a healthy environment for all. You can always reach me at agoldsmith@cleanwater.org with questions or concerns. 

Amazon Protest

On Saturday, March 26, Clean Water Action activists joined community members from Newark and Elizabeth, along with our allies from Ironbound Community Corporation, South Ward Environmental Alliance, Make the Road New Jersey, Teamsters and Weequahic Park Association to host a rally and community canvass opposing Amazon’s secret warehouse deal with the Port Authority of NY&NJ (PANYNJ). This is one in a series of events including protests outside the PANYNJ Board meetings at the World Trade Center in NYC. 

Hedge Papers report revealed that the proposed 250,000 square foot air cargo facility at Newark Airport, Amazon’s largest East Coast hubs, has many flaws. It is moving forward without providing the public any opportunity to review documents and/or be heard. The details of this secret deal are just that secret…We know from warehouse experience across the country this facility could cause additional truck traffic, toxic air pollution, degrade roadways, as well as hurt the local economy of port-adjacent neighborhoods that are largely communities of color like Newark. Yet, we are not aware of any environmental impact or traffic studies being done for the Newark facility.

Community pressures, worker issues and other factors have delayed but not stopped them from sealing the deal - original signing date was November 1, 2021. For more details and to sign our petition, go to Good Jobs Clean Air NJ.

News Flash: Amazon workers voted to unionize this month at a Staten Island facility. This is the first successful effort anywhere at Amazon. Congratulations!

Stronger Investments Needed for a Livable Climate Future

On March 29, Eric Benson, Clean Water Action’s NJ Campaign Director, testified at the first of two Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee public hearings on Governor Murphy’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2023. 

"I am glad to see this proposed budget makes landmark investments in housing, education, and pension payments. New Jersey is flush with cash and not afraid to spend money on areas that will help middle and working class families. Unfortunately, this budget, as proposed, continues the nearly 20 year trend of neglecting the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), clean energy, and mass transit. Middle class and working class families need clean water to drink, safe air to breathe, mass transit to ride, and a healthy climate future for their children. This budget misses the opportunity to make historic investments in the environment and climate. And when it comes to climate change, we may not have many more opportunities left to address the coming crisis.” Read the full testimony here.

Make sure your voice is heard! Email your budget concerns to ABUBudgetHearings@njleg.org and SBABudgetHearings@njleg.org. Public input on the budget is critical - please sign up to testify during the second public Senate session being held Tuesday, April 21st.  

Get Ready for the Bag Ban!

On May 4th, single-use plastic carryout bags will be banned in New Jersey and if you don’t already bring your own reusable bag to the store, now is the time to start! Smaller shops will still be able to offer paper carryout bags, but all grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet will be prohibited from providing both paper and plastic carryout bags. No matter where you shop in the Garden State, you should be encouraged to start using  reusables! 

Read more about the upcoming bag ban on our blog and learn how you and your community can prepare for a “reusable” future!

Come canvass with us!

We are rebooting our Montclair field canvass! Starting April 25, our doors will open and our team will be ready to get back out into the community knocking on doors, educating, advocating, and activating Clean Water members. Read more about the position and how to apply here.

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