The Clean Water Blog

Clean Water on the Move

Clean Water on the Move - August

Happy Summer! 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 months ahead. Thanks for your ongoing support for our work towards a healthy environment for all.

Warehouse Guidance

Warehouse development is sprouting up throughout the state without many controls. The governor's response was to direct the Office of State Planning and Advocacy to develop Warehouse Guidance. While "guidance" only recommends, it could become the stepping stone for future enforceable warehouse policy. Clean Water Action produced extensive comments on behalf of the Coalition for Healthy Ports and its member groups. At the August 3rd agency meeting, we received high praise for our recommendations including model ordinances and call for comprehensive enforcement policy at the state level. Towns are encouraged to utilize the ideas in the guidance document. Final guidance document will likely be approved at the State Planning Commission September meeting. Special shout out to Earthjustice for their tireless assistance. See full set of comments.

Public Outcry for Strongest EJ Rules Possible 

Clean Water Action joined community residents, youth and local groups - standing room only crowd - at a public hearing in Newark on the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) proposed environmental justice rule. We played an instrumental role in the original passage of the 2020 law and drafting of the rule with our EJ partners, Ironbound Community Corporation and NJ EJ Alliance. We were in full force calling on the DEP to stand tall and not cave into industry pressures. If adopted as written, we have the best chance possible of actual preventing and reducing pollution levels and corresponding harms in EJ communities throughout the state. Written public comment will be accepted by the DEP through September 4th . Be counted and make your voice heard. For additional background information that will be useful in writing your comments, go to:

Get the Lead Out

Clean Water Action is launching a project in partnership with Passaic Valley Water Commission (North Jersey) and NJ American Water (statewide) to get a better inventory of where the lead service lines are and get the word out about signing up for no-cost lead service line replacements. Terrance Bankston, our NJ EJ Organizer, will be leading this effort. The initially focus will be on older neighborhoods with a high population of children in Paterson, Passaic, Prospect Park and Clifton. Infants and Pregnant women are most vulnerable to lead in water. Infants on baby formula receive 60% of their lead exposure is from water. For more information.

It’s a Flood Emergency

If the devastation of Hurricane Ida, Floyd, Irene, Sandy and many others were not enough to warn us that more extreme weather, rain, flash floods are coming and we need to prepare, get out of harms ways and be able to retreat to safety as the waters rise, then I do not what will convince us. In June, the DEP was going to issue emergency flood hazard rules in light of this “imminent peril”. It would have redrawn the flood lines to reflect current and future weather predictions, as well as indicate where the raising of future building construction should occur. These are virtually the same rules as was applied to coast communities so they could rebuild – and rebuild they did. Unfortunately, the Governor put the emergency on hold. Clean Water Action joined with over 30 other organizations to call on the Administration to release the rule and make them apply it to building permits that have not yet been approved. Visit the coalition campaign website, www.njpactnow.orgTell the Governor to release the flood hazard protection rules today!

Meals Delivered with Reusables

With Clean Water Action’s assistance, Lunch Break, food pantry and social service agency in Red Bank, is converting to reusables for its meal delivery service to people who are homebound and or living in temporary housing without kitchen access. While they are still testing the various container options, they predict that will save over $4000 in the first year alone. Very exciting! We hope this pilot will serve as a model to be utilized at other locations. Special appreciation goes out to Beyond Plastics for their expertise in this area.

Autumn Toast 

Join us at our 50th anniversary event Autumn Toast for a Healthy Environment on Saturday October 1st from 1- 4 pm. Enjoy great company, auction, live jazz, great food and so much more. Be part of the action of Clean Water Action. Help us fill the room and outdoor patio. Help us raise $50,000 for 50 years by giving a gift of significance to you. RSVP or sponsor here.

IN THE NEWS

*Kim Gaddy is Clean Water Action's National and NJ Environmental Justice Director. In several of these articles, she is representing her local Newark-based group, South Ward Environmental Alliance.

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