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Barnegat Bay Bills Pass

Date : Mon, 13 Dec 2010 17:35:21 -0500

    Jeff Tittel, Director

For Immediate Release
December 13, 2010 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Sierra Club Applauds Assembly Passing Barnegat Bay Bills

The New Jersey Sierra Club applauds the Assembly for the three bills that passed today. These three bills are critical to help protect and preserve Barnegat Bay along with New Jersey's vital water ways. These bills are a part of an important package of bills including limiting soil compaction, requiring TMDLs for Barnegat Bay, and retrofitting storm water detention basins.

"These bills are a victory for clean water for the people of New Jersey and especially important for protecting not only our drinking water, but our coastal tourism industry," Jeff Tittel Director of New Jersey Sierra Club.

A2501 (Chivukula) required statewide requirements for soil reconstruction after construction. This bill would improve the health of the soils around the state by requiring all construction projects to prepare plans for restoring the soil health after the projects are completed. This is an important bill, because it is a formal recognition of the value of soil. Soil is not the same thing as dirt. Well functioning soils are the basis for good water quality, good food systems and clean air.

A3606 (McKeon) would direct Department of Transportation to study state-owned stormwater basins in the Barnegat Bay Watershed and repair those that are malfunctioning. Roads are a major source of nonpoint pollution and we believe by ensuring that stormwater basins are functioning properly, we believe this bill will help minimize pollution in the bay. Christie has come out in opposition of this legislation.

A3415 (McKeon) would require the DEP to adopt total maximum daily loads for nutrients in the Bay. While we support creating TMDL for the Bay, we believe that instead of requiring DEP to do a study, the Legislature should compel the DEP to develop a TMDL for nutrients to protect the Bay. The DEP has studied the Bay to death, and we don't need another study. DEP knows what the problem is, we need them to take action.

These bills are much stronger than the weak protection that the Christie administration has come out with for Barnegat bay. These pieces of legislation are even more important now, given the Christie Administration's attacks on the environment - weakening storm water protections, holding up water quality planning rules, allowing sewers to be put into environmentally sensitive areas - are all affecting Barnegat Bay. Through passing these bills and having the DEP adopt comprehensive rules and regulations we can save the Bay.

"Barnegat Bay is dying. This legislative package will start moving the Bay in the right direction and these bills are the first step in helping to protect Barnegat Bay," said Jeff Tittel. Received on 2010-12-13 14:35:21

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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