New Jersey Releases Landmark Environmental Justice Rules
"Statement from Ironbound Community Corporation, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, Clean Water Action, and South Ward Environmental Alliance
Environmental Justice (EJ) communities throughout New Jersey are on the brink of change as the landmark Environmental Justice Bill S232 comes closer to being realized. Today’s release of long awaited rules that accompany this landmark EJ Law is a critically important milestone.
The law and now proposed rules tackle the decades-long pattern of dumping polluting facilities in communities Of Color and low-income communities. Under these new rules, polluting facilities will be required to undergo a robust environmental justice review before being permitted in overburdened, i.e., environmental justice communities. These precedent-setting rules will arm New Jersey regulators with the right to deny further harmful pollution in these neighborhoods.
Environmental justice communities will finally have a chance to have what many people take for granted – clean air and a safer environment in which to thrive. The just released rules would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of New Jersey environmental justice advocates and organizations, as well as State Senator Singleton, State Senator Ruiz, Assemblyman McKeon, Governor Murphy, NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJEP) Commissioner LaTourette and staff that led to the passage of the law (S232) in the first place.
This rule reflects two years of continued hard work, expertise and community knowledge of EJ advocates who worked alongside the NJDEP staff to develop a strong set of rules that reflect the ambition, significance and promise of the landmark EJ law. We are eager to see these rules adopted as written as soon as possible and finally put to use in the communities that have been sacrificed for far too long."
The NJ DEP held three public hearings, Trenton, Camden and Newark, and one Zoom hearing, scheduled for July 28, 2022 at 6:00 pm.
The Newark Public Hearing, at NJIT, was filled with community Environmental Groups/Activists, Residents, Students, and various Stakeholders.