Barnegat Bay will suffer the most from the delay and environmental roll backs. The governor’s 10 point plan for the bay does not deal with land use and this legislation could put 30,000 environmentally sensitive areas around the bay back into sewer service. This will add more pollution and development to the watershed.
The rules also regulate development on septic systems. One third of private wells are polluted due to overdevelopment impacting groundwater. These rules are being rewritten and weakened now too.
New Jersey is already suffering from too much water pollution. 77 percent of New Jersey’s waterways do not meet all uses – drinking, swimming, and fishing – under the Clean Water Act. Only one stream in the whole state meets all needs, the Flat Brook in Sussex County, and that could be targeted for growth under the governor’s State Strategic Plan
Commissioner Martin has put out more press statements than any other DEP Commissioner in a similar timeframe. This is because his policies are so bad that he has to try to twist the facts since they do not add up. Instead of protecting our waterways, he his spinning the administration’s rollbacks to our environmental protections.
Jeff Tittel is the Director of the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club.