S-232, a senate bill designed to address the issue of Environmental Justice is moving quickly through the NJ legislature. That is both a good and bad thing.
The good part of S-232 is that the issue is being discussed after more than 10 years of languishing in reports by the DEP. The bad is the speed with which it is moving and the lack of thought being put into the details.
While the goals are laudable and late in coming, the bill does not take into account the unintended consequences. If we shut down recycling and solid waste facilities in NJ…for example, we will simply be creating a good deal of pollution by trucking our problems to other states…which we do too much of already and shifting the burdens that the bill proposes to address to others.
For example, let’s presume that every solid waste facility in urban areas is shut down…where will the garbage go? Are we going to build more transfer stations to handle the waste? NYC has done that and they are a 100% exporter.
Further, we have just passed a food waste recycling bill….Can the facilities be built? The key sponsor of the bill has said that one of the goals is to kill such facilities period.
Yes, we should look at the issue…and NJDEP in April of 2019 took a great step by requiring that facilities seeking to expand or renew their permits hold transparent hearings in the effected community where they are located.
Environmental Justice is a serious issue. This bill is not well thought out and that is its real problem.
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This Burdensome Bill Would Shut Down Economic Opportunities in NJ’s Urban Areas.