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Senate Committee Passes Two Strong Environmental Bills

Date : Thu, 15 Jul 2010 13:25:12 -0400

For Immediate Release
July 15, 2010 Contact: Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club Director, 609-558-9100

Senate Committee Passes Two Strong Environmental Bills Legislation raising liability cap for oil spills and allowing solar farms on landfills voted through

The New Jersey Sierra Club supports two bills voted out of the Senate Environment Committee today:

S2108 - This bill raises the liability cap for damages from oil spills from $65 million to $1 billion. This legislation is desperately needed, given that the old liability cap was passed in 1976. Under the current cap of $65 million, New Jersey would not be properly compensated if there was an oil spill off our coast. Considering the spill happening in the Gulf, this bill is needed to update our rules and laws so taxpayers are not on the hook if such an incident occurred in New Jersey.

"If we don't raise the liability cap, instead of the polluters paying, the taxpayers will," New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said. "We believe this legislation is an important step forward in protecting our coasts from oil spills. If companies know they'll have to pay for damages, they may do things in a safer way."

With the threat of drilling off the coast of Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region, an accident that would damage our shores could become a reality and we must be protected. Spills, like the one from Athos, have occurred in the Delaware River and have caused inflicted significant damage. The Sierra Club believes the state should hold companies liable for this damage. Furthermore, there is still a chance that oil from the Gulf spill will impact New Jersey. We must be prepared in the event we are affected by that spill.

S2126 - This legislation allows for solar farms to be put on landfills throughout the state.

"This is an important bill for green jobs as well for the environment," Tittel said. "These landfills are polluting the environment. By putting solar farms on them, we'll take an environmental blight and turn it into a positive."

Solar farms on landfills will have many environmental benefits. First, the cap placed over the landfills would help stop leaking. Second, by generating solar energy, New Jersey will be producing clean electricity and promoting green jobs. There are an abundance of abandoned landfills throughout the state - more than 80 are in the Pinelands alone.

"Putting solar farms on landfills is a win-win for New Jersey," Tittel said. "We can clean up contaminated sites, while producing clean energy and creating green jobs."

Kara Seymour, Program Assistant NJ Sierra Club 145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618 609.656.7612 (f) 609.656.7618  <http://www.newjersey.sierraclub.org/> www.newjersey.sierraclub.org   Received on 2010-07-15 10:25:12

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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Page Last Modified 7/19/2010


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