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Economic Opportunism Act Passes Assembly
Date : Thu, 27 Jun 2013 21:19:31 -0400
For Immediate Release
June 27, 2013
Contact: Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club, 609-558-9100
Economic Opportunism Act Passes Assembly
The Economic Opportunity Act S2583A3680 (LesniakCoutinho) passed the
Assembly today with amendments.The bill was amended today but still
targets some of our most environmentally sensitive areas, most critical
areas for water supply, and last remaining open spaces.Minor changes
include stopping a proposed exemption from preparing an Environmental
Impact Statement for projects before the EDA (exemption from EO 215) and
removing some farmland areas from the bill.However the legislation
continues to target environmentally sensitive farmland, the Highlands
and the Pinelands.
"This bill still targets the Highlands, Pinelands, and our last
remaining open spaces.Amendments made the bill slightly less bad but it
still targets key water supply areas and some of the most
environmentally sensitive lands in the state," said Jeff Tittel,
Director of the Sierra Club.
The bill now targets:
• _Pinelands_villages and towns like Chatsworth and Tabernacle,
There are loopholes big enough to run bulldozers through for development
State Planning Area (PA) 4A, PA 4B _Environmentally Sensitive
Farmland_ and PA 5 _Environmentally Sensitive_
This bill will take economic growth, jobs, and housing opportunities
away from existing cities, towns, and suburban areas and subsidize them
on our last remaining open spaces, threatening our water supply and
increasing flooding. The bill would subsidize development in some of the
most important areas of the state for water supply- next to reservoirs,
above water supply intakes, near aquifer recharge areas and well
protection areas.This bill would subsidize sprawl development that will
directly impact drinking water quality.
This bill will create more flooding and development in areas that were
just destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.Further, the financing could be used
for eminent domain and gentrification along the coast.
This bill will provide funding through tax payer subsidies for new
developments proposed in sensitive areas.This bill hurts development in
appropriate areas by subsidizing growth in rural areas, taking away jobs
and resources from our cities and existing communities.
"This is nothing but sprawl-fare, corporate welfare subsidizing
overdevelopment and paving over of environmentally sensitive areas,"
Jeff continued,"This bill will end up undermining development in our
cities by subsiding growth in our last remaining open spaces.As long as
we subsidize development on green fields we are discouraging
redevelopment projects on brown fields and in urban areas.Instead
ofrebuilding our coast smarter and better, this bill could be used to
subsidize eminent domain projects for politically connected developers
where working families currently live."
Pinelands villages and towns should be taken out.It does not make sense
to be promoting and funding growth in such rural and out of the way
places.The Highlands should be removed entirely but at the very least
only redevelopment projects or new developments on previously disturbed
sites should be included.For example a portion of the BASF site can be
funded where they have existing buildings and parking lots but the
fundingshould not extend to undeveloped portions of the site.
"At a time when we need economic activity we need to promote that growth
in the right places and not do it in the places that will hurt the
environment and in the long term the economic viability of the state.We
need to make sure we redevelop our cities and towns but not at the
expense of our water supply and open spaces for future generations,"
-- Kate Millsaps Conservation Program Coordinator NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club 609-656-7612 _________________________________________________________ NJ-Sierra-Chapter-Ex-Committee List Info & Archives: http://lists.sierraclub.org/archives/NJ-EXCOM.html - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - To view the Sierra Club List Terms & Conditions, see: http://www.sierraclub.org/lists/terms.aspReceived on 2013-06-27 18:19:31
New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
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Page URL: http://NewJersey.SierraClub.org/PressReleases/0486.asp
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